United States District Court, E.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
Donnelly United States District Judge
plaintiff, an employee of the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority ("MTA") Bus Company, alleges that the MTA
Bus Company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA") by discriminating against heron the basis
of her disability, failing to accommodate her disability,
subjecting her to a hostile work environment, and suspending
her without pay. The defendant moves to dismiss the
plaintiffs amended complaint. For the reasons set out below,
the defendant's motion is granted in part and denied in
plaintiff began work as a bus operator for the MTA Bus
Company in 2006. (First Amended Complaint ("FAC")
¶¶ 9-10.) In 2006, she was diagnosed with disc
herniation, which she claims affected her ability to sit,
stand, and walk. (FAC ¶ 11.) As a result of her alleged
disability, the plaintiff needed an adjustable seat in her
assigned bus; with that accommodation, she was able to do her
job. (FAC ¶¶ 12-13.)
amended complaint, the plaintiff claims that she spoke up
about her need for an adjustable seat every time that she was
assigned a bus without an adjustable seat, and that she was
"often denied her requested accommodation." (FAC
March 21, 2014, she was given a bus with a non-adjustable
seat. (FAC ¶ 16.) When she complained, a supervisor by
the name of "Randy" yelled at her, and said that
she was "always having a problem with the seat."
(FAC ¶ 16.) Randy told the plaintiff to speak with Chris
Tortora, the General Superintendent of MTA Bus Company, who
accused the plaintiff of "always having a problem"
with her assigned buses. (FAC ¶ 17.) The plaintiff does
not contend that the defendant refused to give her a
different bus, nor does she allege that she was disciplined
as a result of the March 21, 2014 incident.
April 23, 2014, the plaintiff was given a bus with a seat
that was not adjustable in the way she needed. (FAC
¶¶ 18-19.) When the plaintiff told Tortora that she
could not drive the bus because of her disability, he
"demanded that [the plaintiff] sit behind the wheel of
the bus in an aggressive manner." (FAC ¶ 20.)
Tortora then instructed the plaintiff to reach under the seat
to move it forward, which she was able to do, but which
"exacerbated her disability;" as a result, she
"ended up on disability leave for one week." (FAC
¶¶ 21, 24.) While the plaintiff complains that the
seat's back support and its height could not be adjusted,
she does not assert that she was required to drive that bus.
(FAC ¶ 21.) The plaintiff does not allege that she was
disciplined as a result of the April 23, 2014 incident, nor
that she was denied leave when she hurt herself reaching
under the seat.
4, 2014, the plaintiff was driving a bus, and smelled what
she believed was gas.(FAC ¶ 25.) Believing that there was a
leak, she reported the issue to her supervisor, "Benny,
" who said he did not smell anything unusual, and
instructed her to drive the bus. (FAC ¶ 25.) According
to the plaintiff, she felt "dizzy and lightheaded"
after driving the bus, and asked for an ambulance. (FAC
¶ 25.) She had a blood pressure of 190/120, and went to
the hospital. (FAC¶ 25.)
the plaintiff returned to work almost two weeks later, on
June 13, 2014, Tortora called her to his office, and told her
that the bus with the reported gas leak had been inspected,
and there was "nothing wrong with the bus." (FAC
¶ 26.) Tortora accused the plaintiff of making a false
report, and suspended her without pay. (FAC ¶ 26.)
an arbitration hearing on July 28, 2014, the disciplinary
charges against the plaintiff were dismissed. (FAC ¶
25.) The plaintiff alleges that she "remains out of work
without pay while she waits for her formal reinstatement at
work." (FAC ¶ 29.) The defendant denies this
allegation, and claims she "was not terminated."
See (Defs.' Mem. at 11.)
plaintiff filed an administrative complaint with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC"). (FAC ¶ 4.) She claims that she
received the right-to-sue letter on July 9, 2015; the letter,
however, was dated March 31, 2015. (FAC ¶ 4.)
October 2, 2015, the plaintiff brought this action against
the "Metropolitan Transit Authority" and Tortora.
The defendants moved to dismiss the initial complaint on
March 18, 2016. (ECF No. 11.) I granted the defendants'
motion, and dismissed the complaint in its entirety on
October 5, 2016. (Oct. 5, 2016 Decision (ECF No. 19).) In
that decision, I rejected the defendants' contention that
the lawsuit was not timely, but dismissed the complaint
because the plaintiff named the wrong defendant, the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (sued as
"Metropolitan Transit Authority"); the plaintiff
was employed by the MTA Bus Company, and pursuant to New York
statute, employees of an MTA subsidiary, like the MTA Bus
Company, are not employees of the MTA. (Oct. 5, 2016 Decision
on December 12, 2016, the plaintiff filed a second motion to
amend the complaint, which I granted. (ECF No. 23; Dec. 13, 2016
Order.) The plaintiff filed her amended complaint on December
14, 2016 ("Amended Complaint"). The parties
proceeded with discovery.
purposes of this motion, I assume that the facts alleged in
the complaint are true, and draw all reasonable inferences in
the plaintiffs favor. Town of Babylon v. Fed. Hous. Fin.
Agency,699 F.3d 221, 227 (2d Cir. 2012). Nevertheless,
the complaint must allege "enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face." BellAtl.
Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is
plausible when the plaintiff "pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). This
standard requires more than an "unadorned,
Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555). In the context of a discrimination action, the
plaintiff must allege sufficient non-conclusory ...