United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
Edgardo Ralnos, U.S.D.J.
Feliz (“Plaintiff” or “Feliz”) brings
this action against his employer, Metropolitan Transportation
Authority (“Defendant” or “MTA”),
alleging employment discrimination on the basis of his gender
and national origin. He alleges that Defendant's actions
violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New York
State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), and New York
City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). Before the
Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss the Amended
Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
hereby DISMISSES Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, without
is a Hispanic male and is fluent in Spanish. Am. Compl.
¶¶ 2, 28. Plaintiff has been employed as a Police
Officer by the MTA Police Department since 2003. Id.
to joining the MTA Police Department, Plaintiff was employed
as a Police Officer with the New York City Police Department
(“NYPD”). Id. ¶ 22. Plaintiff
alleges that during his career as a Police Officer at both
the NYPD and MTA Police Departments he has had no
disciplinary history and received six commendations.
Id. ¶¶ 24-25. In connection with his
employment with MTA, Plaintiff has served as a Field Training
Officer and has completed six training courses in topics
ranging from active shooter scenarios and terrorist threats
to collision investigation and executive protection.
Id. ¶¶ 27, 29.
contends that on five separate occasions between 2004 and
August 2015, he submitted an application for internal
promotion and was rejected, despite being qualified for the
positions to which he applied, as a result of discrimination
on the basis of his national origin and gender. Id.
¶¶ 30-32, 62. In 2004, Plaintiff applied for a
position in the Highway Unit. Id. ¶ 46.
Plaintiff was rejected for the position and asserts that he
was more qualified than the successful applicant.
Id. ¶ 48. In 2008, Plaintiff applied for a
position with the Anti-Crime Counter-Terrorism Unit and was
not selected. Id. ¶¶ 54-55.
three separate occasions in 2007, 2010 and 2015, Plaintiff
applied for a Detective position. Id. ¶¶
31-57. Plaintiff asserts that although he was qualified for
each of the three promotions, he was rejected on each
occasion. Id. ¶¶ 32-58. Three other
Hispanic males applied for the Detective position in 2015 in
addition to Plaintiff. Id. ¶¶ 42-44. None
were selected. Id. In connection with the 2015
position, Plaintiff was recommended for Detective by his
supervisor. Id. ¶ 33. Plaintiff was interviewed
for the position. Id. ¶ 34. However, Plaintiff
does acknowledge that certain applicants for the 2015
position attended detective school, specifically one
Caucasian male and one Hispanic male, and Plaintiff does not
claim to have attended that program. Id.
¶¶ 41-43. He alleges that no Hispanic male was
promoted to Detective during these three application cycles,
although in 2015 two of the six successful applicants were
members of a protected class: a Hispanic female and an
African American male. Id. at ¶¶ 35-39,
53-59. Plaintiff alleges that there are only two Hispanic
males in the MTA's 30-person Detective Unit and that no
Hispanic men have been promoted to detective in at least ten
years. Id. ¶ 60-61.
February 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the EEOC
alleging discrimination on the basis of gender and national
origin. Id. ¶ 12. The EEOC issued him a
dismissal and a right to sue letter on October 24, 2016.
Id. ¶ 14. Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint
in this action on December 12, 2016 and filed an Amended
Complaint on May 4, 2017. Plaintiff alleges that the MTA
discriminated against him on the basis of national origin and
gender by not promoting him on the five aforementioned
occasions in violation of Title VII, the NYSHRL, and the
Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Standard
ruling on a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all factual
allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Nielsen v.
Rabin, 746 F.3d 58, 62 (2d Cir. 2014). The Court is not
required to credit “mere conclusory statements”
or “threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007)); see also Id. at 681 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 551). “To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter . . . to ‘state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.'” Id. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A claim is
facially 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.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). More specifically, the plaintiff must allege
sufficient facts to show “more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. If
the plaintiff has not “nudged [his] claims across the
line from conceivable to plausible, [the] complaint must be
dismissed.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570;
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 680.
question in a Rule 12 motion to dismiss “is not whether
a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant
is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims.”
Sikhs for Justice v. Nath, 893 F.Supp.2d 598, 615
(S.D.N.Y. 2012) (quoting Villager Pond, Inc. v. Town of
Darien, 56 F.3d 375, 378 (2d Cir. 1995)) (internal
quotation marks omitted). “[T]he purpose of Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) ‘is to test, in a
streamlined fashion, the formal sufficiency of the
plaintiff's statement of a claim for relief without
resolving a contest regarding its substantive merits,
'” and without regard for the weight of the
evidence that might be offered in support of Plaintiff's
claims. Halebian v. Berv, 644 F.3d 122, 130 (2d Cir.
2011) (quoting Global Network Commc'ns, Inc. v. City
of New York, 458 F.3d 150, 155 (2d Cir. 2006)).
Statute of Limitations for Claims Pursuant to Title VII,
NYSHRL and NYCHRL
order to file suit under Title VII, a plaintiff must first
file a timely charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC). See Riddle v. Citigroup, 449 F.
App'x 66, 69 (2d Cir. 2011). In New York, a Title VII
claim must be brought before the EEOC within 300 days of the
alleged unlawful conduct in order to be considered timely.
See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1); 29 U.S.C. §
626(d)(1)(B); see also Harris v. City of New York,
186 F.3d 243, 247 n.2 (2d Cir. 1999) (noting that “the
existence of [the NYSHR] makes New York a so-called deferral
state for Title VII” purposes, such that the 300-day