United States District Court, N.D. New York
& KENNIFF, P.C., Attorneys for Plaintiff
MURRAY LAW FIRM, PLLC, Attorneys for Defendants
ANTHONY J. COLLELUORI, ESQ., JOSEPH C. BERGER, ESQ.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
SCULLIN, Senior Judge
before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary
judgement pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. See generally Dkt. No. 33.
Colleen Bailey and Defendant Clay Ashworth first met while
working together at Adirondack Broadcasting in 2003.
See Dkt. No. 34-1 at ¶ 3. Defendant Ashworth
was the General Manager, and Plaintiff was a salesperson at
that time. See id. In 2006, Defendant Ashworth left
Adirondack Broadcasting to purchase Defendant Regional Radio
Group, LLC. See id. at ¶ 4.
2009, Plaintiff reached out to Defendant Ashworth and asked
for a job at Defendant Regional Radio Group, LLC. See
Id. at ¶ 5. Defendant Ashworth hired Plaintiff as
the General Sales Manager and put her in charge of a
five-person sales force. See Id. at ¶ 6.
Plaintiff was employed at Defendant Regional Radio Group
until September 15, 2013, when she submitted her resignation.
See Id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiff's resignation
letter was addressed to Defendant Ashworth and stated, in
pertinent part, that she had
decided it is time for me to leave Regional Radio. . . . I
wasn't living up to your expectations. You have decided
to do what is best for your family with seeking an assistant
GM and selling the stations in the near future, and my fate
would be sealed with a new owner as you discussed in a recent
sales meeting, so I have decided to just leave now.
See Dkt. No. 33-3 at 2.
filed this lawsuit on March 30, 2015, asserting four causes
of action. See Dkt. No. 1. First, Plaintiff alleges
that Defendant Regional Radio Group, LLC discriminated
against her on the basis of her gender in violation of Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII")
by creating a hostile work environment and treating her
differently than male employees. See Id. at
¶¶ 37-47. Second, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant
Regional Radio Group, LLC retaliated against her in violation
of Title VII. See id. at ¶¶ 48-54. Third,
Plaintiff claims that Defendants Ashworth and Regional Radio
Group, LLC violated New York Humans Rights Law, N.Y. Exec.
Law § 296(7) ("NYHRL"). See id. at
¶¶ 55-56. Finally, Plaintiff contends that
Defendant Regional Radio Group, LLC violated the Family
Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") by refusing to grant her
time off due to the "imminent death of her
boyfriend's father." See id. at
Standard of review
must grant summary judgment "if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The movant for summary judgment
"always bears the initial responsibility of informing
the district court of the basis for its motion" and
identifying which materials "demonstrate the absence of
genuine issues of material fact." Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A fact is
"material" if it "might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law" and is genuinely in
dispute "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party."
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). If the movant meets this burden, the nonmoving party
must "'"set forth specific facts showing a
genuine issue for trial."'" Id.
(quotation omitted) "[I]n ruling on a motion for summary
judgment, the district court is not to weigh the evidence but
is instead required to view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the party opposing summary judgment, to draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of that party, and to eschew
credibility assessments[.]" Weyant v. Okst, 101
F.3d 845, 854 (2d Cir. 1996) (citations omitted). However,
the nonmoving party cannot rely on "mere speculation or
conjecture as to the true nature of the facts to overcome a
motion for summary judgment." Knight v. U.S. Fire
Ins. Co., 804 F.2d 9, 12 (2d Cir. 1986) (citing
[Quarles v. Gen. Motors Corp., 758 F.2d 839, 840 (2d
Cir. 1985) (per curiam)]).
Plaintiff's Title VII and NYHRL
VII makes it "an unlawful employment practice for an
employer . . . to discriminate against any individual with
respect to [her] compensation, terms, conditions, or
privileges of employment, because of such individual's .
. . sex . . . ." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1).
Similarly, the NYHRL provides, in pertinent part, that
"[i]t shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice . . .
for an employer . . . because of an individual's . . .
sex . . . to discriminate against such individual in
compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of
employment." N.Y. Exec. L. § 296(1)(a). The same
standard of proof applies to both Title VII and NYHRL
discrimination claims. See Salamon v. Our Lady of Victory
Hosp., 514 F.3d 217, 226 n.9 (2d Cir. 2008) (citations
omitted); Pucino v. Verizon Wireless Comm'cns,
Inc., 618 F.3d 112, 117 n.2 (2d Cir. 2010) (citation
establish a prima facie claim of sexual discrimination a
plaintiff "must show: (1) that [s]he belonged to a
protected class; (2) that [s]he was qualified for the
position [s]he held; (3) that [s]he suffered an adverse
employment action; and (4) that the adverse employment action
occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of
discriminatory intent."Holcomb v. Iona Coll.,
521 F.3d 130, 138 (2d Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). The
parties do not dispute the first two elements; rather,
Defendants' arguments ...