United States District Court, E.D. New York
MICHAEL J. KNEITEL, Plaintiff,
RAYMOND SILVERY, ANTHONY PARILLA, DIANE ARIANO, and MARISOLL GOMEZ, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
NICHOLAS G. GARAUFIS, United States District Judge.
November 30, 2015, prose Plaintiff Michael J.
Kneitel initiated the instant civil rights action relating to
the termination of his employment by the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority ("MTA") and his subsequent
attempts to obtain employment with that agency. (Compl. (Dkt.
1).) Before the court is Defendants' motion to dismiss
the complaint. (Mot. to Dismiss ("Mot.") (Dkt.
26).) For the reasons stated below, the motion is GRANTED.
following facts are drawn from the complaint, and are
presumed to be true for the purposes of this motion. The
court previously detailed the allegations in the complaint in
connection with Plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma
pauperis (Aug. 31, 2016, Mem. & Order (Dkt. 5)), and
recites only those allegations that are relevant to the
present motion to dismiss.
Removal from the MTA
is a 53-year-old white male. (Compl at 4.) He alleges that he
was employed by the MTA from August 2010 until March 2011.
about January 9, 2011, Plaintiff states that he informed his
superiors at the MTA that he was unable to report to work due
to a work-related injury. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff
received treatment for that injury until February 15, 2011,
during which time he was not paid either his salary or
workers' compensation. (Id.)
approximately February 17, 2011, he met with non-party Ray
Brennan and Defendant Anthony Parilla, an MTA general
superintendent, and informed them that he had received
medical authorization to resume his duties and requested
leave to return to work. (Id.) On or about February
18, 2011, Parilla informed Plaintiff that the MTA viewed him
as having been "absent without leave" during the
period of his treatment. (Id.) Plaintiff was
directed to receive a medical examination, but his attempts
to comply were hindered by delays in obtaining medical
paperwork. (Id at 5-6.) According to Plaintiff, he
was removed from his employment on March 16, 2011, by
Defendant Raymond Silvery, an Assistant Manager at the MTA.
(Id. at 6.)
Denial of Unemployment Benefits and MTA Employment
his termination, Plaintiff filed for unemployment insurance
benefits. (Id.) Plaintiff states that the MTA
opposed his application on the basis that he had voluntarily
resigned his position, rendering him ineligible for
unemployment benefits. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that
the New York State Department of Labor investigated his
unemployment claims and the MTA's opposition and
ultimately concluded that Plaintiff had not abandoned his
position and so could receive unemployment benefits.
months after his removal, Plaintiff "applied to numerous
civil service positions with the MTA." (Id.)
Plaintiff applied to be a bus chassis maintainer in August
2011 and claims that he was "ranked as the #1 eligible
candidate on the list." (Id.) Despite this
ranking, Plaintiff was not hired for the position.
(Id.) Following his rejection, Plaintiff requested
clarification as to why he was not selected, but Defendant
Diane Ariano refused to provide any information or
allow him the opportunity for a hearing. (Id. at 6,
subsequently appeared for interviews with the MTA for
positions as a provisional car inspector in April 2013, a
train operator in July 2013, and a car inspector in July
2014, all without success. (Id at 7-8.) Prior to the
last of these interviews, Plaintiff states that he spoke with
Defendant Marisoll Gomez, who he identifies as the Human
Resources Director for the MTA. (Id at 8.) Gomez
heard Plaintiff's arguments as to why he should be
considered for the position, and she advised Plaintiff to
report for his interview. (Id.) Plaintiff completed
the application process and, despite several attempts in the
following weeks, was unable to obtain any substantial update
from Gomez regarding the status of his application.
(Id.) When Plaintiff finally reached Gomez, she
informed him that "he would not be considered for any
title within the MTA." (Id.)
connection with his applications, Plaintiff asserts that he
contacted non-party Mark D. Lebow, the Board Committee
Chairperson for the New York City Transit Authority.
(Id. at 7.) Apparently as a result of this contact,
Plaintiff avers that he was informed that "there is
'something' written in [his employment] file that is
so egregious [as to] preclude Plaintiff from [obtaining]
employment within the MTA." (14)
November 30, 2015, Plaintiff filed the current action
bringing causes of actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violations of his federal constitutional rights as well as a
number of state-law-based claims. (Compl) On the same day,
Plaintiff moved to proceed in forma pauperis,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). (Mot. to Proceed IFP
(Dkt. 2).) The court granted Plaintiffs motion to proceed
in forma pauperis, but dismissed several of the
defendants named in the complaint for failure to state a
claim on which relief may be granted sua sponte. (Aug. 31,
2016, Mem. & Order (Dkt. 5).) The remaining defendants
subsequently moved to dismiss the complaint in its entirety
on June 15, 2017. (Mot.)