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Noia v. Orthopedic Associates of Long Island

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 9, 2015

CYNTHIA NOIA, Plaintiff,
v.
ORTHOPEDIC ASSOCIATES OF LONG ISLAND, Defendant

For the Plaintiff: Bryan J. Mazzola, Esq., Jacqueline Aiello, Esq., Of Counsel, Cantor Epstein & Mazzola, LLP, New York, NY.

For the Defendant: Michael A. Miranda, Esq., Michael T. Cataldo, Esq., Of Counsel, Miranda Sambursky Slone Sklarin Verveniotis LLP, Mineola, NY.

Page 14

DECISION AND ORDER

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

Presently pending before the Court is a motion by the Plaintiff Cynthia Noia (the " Plaintiff" ) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 15(a)(2) for leave to file an amended complaint. For the reasons set forth, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Unless stated otherwise, the following facts are drawn from the original complaint.

The Plaintiff, at all times relevant to this action, is an individual who has resided and continues to reside at 32 Ash Drive Medford, N.Y. 11763.

The Defendant Orthopedic Associates of Long Island (the " Defendant" ) is a New York corporation that maintains its principal place of business at 6 Technology Drive, #100 East Setauket, N.Y. 11733.

The Plaintiff suffers from Dermatomyositis, an uncommon autoimmune disorder which caused her to suffer muscle weakness, pain and degeneration, skin rashes and discoloration, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, weight loss, and hair loss.

The Plaintiff worked for the Defendant as a Key Assistant for Dr. Steven M. Puopolo beginning in May 2004. Until August 2013, the Plaintiff enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Dr. Puopolo, who had been more than satisfied with her job performance.

As the Key Assistant for Dr. Puopolo, the Plaintiff was responsible for the day-to-day management of his medical practice including the scheduling of surgeries, patient contact, billing issues, and other administrative duties. The Plaintiff alleges that, notwithstanding her medical condition, she performed her job duties as a Key Assistant with excellence and remained ready, willing, and able to perform all of her job duties.

Nevertheless, the Plaintiff alleges, the Defendant discriminated against her due to her disability and perceived inability to perform her duties. Specifically, on August 5, 2013, the Defendant altered the terms and conditions of the Plaintiff's employment " in a profoundly negative way by demoting her to the position once held by her assistant and cutting her salary significantly." (Compl., at ¶ 13.)

The Plaintiff further alleges that, in an effort to create a paper trail justifying its actions taken against her, Lynn Kudla (" Kudla" ), an employee of the Defendant, composed a performance review dated July 11, 2013 which claimed that the Plaintiff " needed improvement" in nearly all the categories listed on the pre-printed form. (Id. at ¶ 14.) In the comments section, Kudla claimed that the Plaintiff needed improvement regarding her " work performance, quality of work, [and] attitude towards patients and employees." (Id.) Kudla characterized the Plaintiff's " performance and attitude" as worse than the prior ...


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