United States District Court, S.D. New York
ELIZABETH F. STABLER, Plaintiff,
CONGREGATION EMANU-EL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, JOSHUA DAVIDSON, individually and in his official capacity, GADY LEVY, individually and in his official capacity, CARA GLICKMAN, individually and in her official capacity, JOHN HARRISON STREICKER, individually and in his official capacity, LAWRENCE HOFFMAN, individually and in his official capacity, JOHN AND JANE DOES 1-10, individually and in their official capacities, and XYZ CORP. 1-10, Defendants.
Attorney for Plaintiff THE LAW OFFICE OF RUDY A.
DERMESROPIAN, LLC By: Rudy A. Dermesropian, Esq.
Attorneys for Defendants JACKSON LEWIS P.C. By: Scott T.
Baken, Esq., Lauren G. Hanson, Esq.
Attorneys for Defendant Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman PECHMAN LAW
GROUP PLLC By: Louis Pechman, Esq., Lillian M. Marquez, Esq.
Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York (the
"Congregation"), Rabbi Joshua Davidson ("Rabbi
Davidson"), Gady Levy ("Levy"), Cara Glickman
("Glickman"), and John Harrison Streicker
("Streicker") (collectively, the
"Defendants") have moved pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss the First
Amended Complaint ("FAC") of the plaintiff
Elizabeth Stabler ("Stabler" or the
"Plaintiff"). Defendant Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman
("Rabbi Hoffman") has separately moved to dismiss
Plaintiff's FAC pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). As set forth
below, the motions to dismiss are denied and the parties are
directed to engage in limited discovery with regard to the
ministerial exception issue.
initiated this action on December 13, 2016 and filed her FAC
on December 20, 2016. The FAC alleges intentional creation of
a hostile work environment, unlawful discrimination,
harassment, retaliation, and unlawful adverse actions towards
the Plaintiff based on: her gender in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"),
her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment
Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.
("ADEA"), and her disability and failure to
accommodate in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
("ADA"). Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants are
also in violation of the Executive Law of the State of New
York, New York State Human Rights Law, § 296 et
seq. ("Executive Law"), and the
Administrative Code of the City of New York, New York City
Human Rights Law, § 8-101 et seq.
Defendants' motion to dismiss was filed on February 3,
2017, and Rabbi Hoffman's motion to dismiss was filed on
February 17, 2017. Both motions were heard and marked fully
submitted on April 12, 2017.
facts as set forth below are drawn from the Plaintiff's
FAC. They are taken as true for purposes of the motion to
is the former Librarian at the Congregation, serving from
September 29, 1999 until her termination on May 12, 2015.
Id. ¶ 33. Throughout this period, she was over
the age of 40. Id. ¶¶ 2-3. By the time she
was terminated, Plaintiff was in her late 60s. Id.
about 2012, Streicker became the Congregation's President
of the Board. Compl. ¶ 16, 44. Streicker hired Rabbi
Davidson in or about 2013 to take over as Senior Rabbi at the
Congregation. Id. ¶¶ 7, 44. Rabbi Davidson
hired Levy, who began to work as Director of the Skirball
Center for Adult Jewish Learning in June 2014, and Glickman,
who began to work as Executive Vice President in mid-July
2014. Id. ¶¶ 10, 13, 38, 45. Rabbi Hoffman
was a consultant to the Congregation. Id. ¶ 19.
John and Jane Does 1-10 are natural persons whose true
identities are not yet known to Plaintiff and are partners,
shareholders, principals, employees, agents, or persons
otherwise associated with one or more of the other
Defendants, or were otherwise in positions which enabled them
to commit, or to aid and abet in the commission of, the
wrongful acts against Plaintiff as alleged. Id.
¶ 22. Defendants XYZ Corp. 1-10 are additional entities
whose true identities are not yet known to Plaintiff, which
are owned or operated by, affiliated with, owned and/or
managed by or for the benefit of one or more other
Defendants, or any combination of any or all of them.
Id. ¶ 23.
duties and responsibilities included, but were not limited
Assembling an automated 14, 000-item library from books
stored for many years into a new library; expanding the
library collection, including periodicals, books,
children's materials, realia, audio-visual material and
education enhancement tools; facilitating and organizing
reading groups and a congregation-wide read-along with
relevant lectures; developed and ran the Meet the Author and
Library and Museum Lecture Series; conceived the "Who
Are We" program series; worked with the Board of
Trustees Cultural and Programming Committee; researched and
implemented an upgrade to the library's automated system
to allow offsite access to the library database; supported
and developed resource material for adult education and other
groups; maintained subscriptions to numerous periodicals;
regularly attended and taught workshops, seminars and
national library conventions; researched and facilitated
continuing education class about iPad applications for
teaching Hebrew; authored several articles for "How to
Run a Jewish Library" published by the Association of
Jewish Libraries; wrote articles for New York Metropolitan
Area chapter of the Association of Jewish Libraries' NYMA
News; Chaired the Association of Jewish Libraries 2004
National Convention held in Brooklyn, New York; appointed to
represent the Association of Jewish Libraries as a member of
an advisory committee for the American Theological Library