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Heiser v. Collorafi

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 9, 2015

MARYANN HEISER, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSEPH COLLORAFI, CHRISTOPHER HOLMES, and STATE OF NEW YORK, Defendants.

DECISION & ORDER

THOMAS J. McAVOY, Senior District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Maryann Heiser, a former employee of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services ("DHSES"), alleges employment discrimination in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"), and the New York State Human Rights Law, Article 15 of N.Y. Exec. Law § 292, et. seq. ("NYSHRL"). Plaintiff alleges that she was subjected to: (I) a sex-based hostile working environment; and (ii) retaliation in the form of decreased work hours and responsibilities after she complained about being subjected to sexual harassment.

Defendants Joseph Collorafi, Christopher Holmes, and the State of New York (collectively, "Defendants") move pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss the First Cause of Action (Title VII sex-based hostile work environment) and the Third Cause of Action (NYSHRL sex-based hostile work environment and retaliation against the individual Defendants).[1] Plaintiff has opposed the motion and the Defendants have filed a reply. The Court has considered all of the submissions in this matter, and reaches its decision without the need for oral argument.

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

a. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1)

In deciding a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) motion, the Court "may refer to evidence outside the pleadings." United States v. Real Property and Premises Located at 249-20 Cambria Ave., 21 F.Supp.3d 247, 249 (E.D.N.Y. 2014). Notably, "[t]he standard for reviewing a [Fed.R.Civ.P.12(b)(1) ] motion to dismiss is essentially identical to the [Fed.R.Civ.P.] 12(b)(6) standard, " "except that [a] plaintiff asserting subject matter jurisdiction has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that it exists.'" Taylor v. New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, 2014 WL 1202587, at *3 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 14, 2014) (quoting Makarova v. United States, 201 F.3d 110, 113 (2d Cir. 2000)).

b. FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6)

On a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept "all factual allegations in the complaint as true, and draw[] all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor." Holmes v. Grubman, 568 F.3d 329, 335 (2d Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). This tenet does not apply to legal conclusions. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

"To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. A claim will only have "facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.

III. BACKGROUND

Where pertinent, the Court discusses the background facts in connection with the issues analyzed below.

IV. DISCUSSION

a. Election of ...


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