United States District Court, E.D. New York
OFFICE OF OSITA OKOCHA, P.C., Attorney for Plaintiff, By:
Osita Emmanuel Okocha, Esq.
SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER & HAMPTON, LLP Attorneys for
Defendant, By: Kevin James Smith, Esq.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Hurley Unites States District Judge.
Oluwabunmi Adejare (“plaintiff” or
“Adejare”) brings this action asserting that
defendants St. Charles Hospital & Rehabilitation Center
(“St. Charles”), Maureen Morris
(“Morris”), and Nancy Ladika
“defendants”) committed “unlawful
employment practices on the basis of race, sex, national
origin, hostile work environment, retaliation and disability,
” (Compl. ¶ 1), pursuant to Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1967, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
(“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42
U.S.C. § 12182 et seq., the Rehabilitation Act,
29 U.S.C. § 794, and the New York State Human Rights Law
(“NYHRL”), Executive Law § 296 (Compl.
¶¶ 1-2). Presently before the Court is
defendants' motion to dismiss these claims pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(6)
for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. For the reasons set forth below, defendants'
motion is granted.
following facts are taken from plaintiff's Complaint.
is a female African American of Nigerian nationality formerly
employed by St. Charles. At all relevant times, Maureen
Morris was the Director of Human Resources at St. Charles and
Nancy Ladika was the “Night Supervisor, ” though
the Complaint does not contain any further description of her
supervisory function. The Complaint also does not provide any
further description of plaintiff's employment. For
example, it does not state the type of job plaintiff held and
for how long she held it.
alleges that she was injured at her job, but that defendants
“made no disability accommodation.” (Compl.
¶ 12.) The Complaint does not provide any details about
what type of injury plaintiff sustained or the type of
accommodation she sought. Plaintiff claims that she was
“shocked and horrified by the way Defendants treated
her and as a result [she] suffered emotional distress.”
(Id. ¶ 13.) According to the Complaint,
defendants terminated plaintiff's employment on or about
July 25, 2014.
Standard of Review for Motion to Dismiss
deciding a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a court should “draw all
reasonable inferences in Plaintiff['s] favor, assume all
well-pleaded factual allegations to be true, and determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief.” Faber v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 648
F.3d 98, 104 (2d Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks
omitted). The plausibility standard is guided by two
principles. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544 (2007)); accord Harris v. Mills, 572
F.3d 66, 71-72 (2d Cir. 2009). First, the principle that a
court must accept all allegations as true is inapplicable to
legal conclusions. Thus, “threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678. Although “legal conclusions can provide the
framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations.” Id. at 679. A plaintiff must
provide facts sufficient to allow each named defendant to
have a fair understanding of what the plaintiff is
complaining about and to know whether there is a legal basis
for recovery. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Second, only complaints that state a “plausible claim
for relief” can survive a motion to dismiss.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. “A claim has 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. The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, ' but asks for more than a sheer possibility
that defendant acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads
facts that are “merely consistent with” a
defendant's liability, it ‘stops short of the line
between possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to
relief.' ” Id. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-57) (internal citations
omitted); see In re Elevator Antitrust
Litig., 502 F.3d 47, 50 (2d Cir. 2007). Determining
whether a complaint plausibly states a claim for relief is
“a context specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; accord Harris,
572 F.3d at 72.
Plaintiff's Title VII, ADA, § 1981, Rehabilitation
Act, and NYHRL Claims
VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against an
employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or
national origin. Title VII discrimination claims are analyzed
under the burden-shifting framework set forth in
McDonnell Douglas Corporation v. Green, 411 U.S. 792
(1973). Under McDonnell Douglas and its progeny, a
plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of
discrimination by showing that: (1) he belonged to a
protected class, (2) was qualified for the position he held
or sought, and (3) suffered an adverse employment action (4)
under circumstances giving rise to an inference of
discriminatory intent. Terry v. Ashcroft, 336 F.3d
128, 137-38 (2d Cir. 2003). If the plaintiff establishes a
prima facie case, the burden then shifts to the
employer to "articulate some legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for [the adverse act]."
Leibowitz v. Cornell Univ., 584 F.3d 487, 499 (2d
Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Should the employer satisfy its burden, the McDonnell
Douglas framework and its presumptions and burdens
disappear, leaving the sole remaining issue of
"discrimination vel non." See Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 143
at the motion to dismiss stage, “a plaintiff is not
required to plead a prima facie case under
McDonnell Douglas, at least as the test was
originally formulated.” Vega v. Hempstead Union
Free Sch. Dist., 801 F.3d 72, 84 (2d Cir. 2015). Rather,
“a plaintiff need only give plausible support to a
minimal inference of discriminatory motivation.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). However, a plaintiff “must at a minimum
assert nonconclusory factual matter sufficient to nudge its
claims across the line from conceivable ...