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Van Beek v. Professional Data Systems, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 6, 2017

RYAN VAN BEEK, Plaintiff,
v.
PROFESSIONAL DATA SYSTEMS, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Vincent L. Briccetti United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Ryan Van Beek brings claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and New York state law against defendant Professional Data Systems, Inc. (“PDS”), alleging PDS wrongfully terminated him on the basis of a prior misdemeanor conviction.

         Now pending is PDS's motion to dismiss the complaint. (Doc. #19).

         For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.

         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         BACKGROUND

         In deciding the pending motion, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded allegations of plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor.

         In 2000, when plaintiff was twenty-two years old, he was convicted of a misdemeanor offense in state court. (Compl. ¶¶ 14, 20).

         Plaintiff was hired by PDS in 2008, and by 2015 he held the position of Senior Technical Advisor. (Compl. ¶ 13). Plaintiff alleges PDS was aware of his misdemeanor conviction when he was hired and throughout the term of his employment. (Id. ¶ 15). Moreover, plaintiff alleges PDS “regularly and routinely promoted” plaintiff and provided him “pay raises and advancement” within the company, despite his prior misdemeanor conviction. (Id. ¶ 16).

         In 2014, PDS underwent a “merger and/or acquisition with” Stemp Systems Group, Inc. (Compl. ¶ 18). During the negotiation of that merger/acquisition, “multiple authorized members of PDS management” told plaintiff that “representatives of Stemp Systems, Inc., had taken the position that [p]laintiff's employment must be terminated immediately upon completion of said merger/acquisition” because of “the existence of the misdemeanor conviction.” (Id. ¶¶ 19-20). Plaintiff was terminated in July 2015. (Id. ¶ 16).

         Plaintiff alleges he was terminated “solely on the basis of” his misdemeanor conviction. (Compl. ¶ 21). He alleges this constituted discrimination and caused him humiliation, physical illness, and emotional distress. (Id. ¶ 22).

         On September 28, 2015, plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Plaintiff thereafter received a right to sue letter from the EEOC, and he timely commenced this lawsuit on January 28, 2016.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Stand ...


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