United States District Court, S.D. New York
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
G. KOELTL UNTIED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, Ronald Cardin, an African American male appearing
pro se, brought this action against his employer, Securitas
Security Services USA, Inc. ("Securitas"), alleging
claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII")
for discrimination based on race, color, and gender/sex and
for a hostile work environment based on sexual harassment.
The plaintiff's claims all relate to an incident that
occurred in the men's restroom at his work site on August
6, 2015 (the "Restroom Incident").
plaintiff filed a complaint over the Restroom Incident with
the New York State Division of Human Rights
("NYSDHR") on September 10, 2015. The NYSDHR found
no probable cause for the unlawful practices alleged, and the
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC"), adopting the findings of the NYSDHR,
issued the plaintiff a Right to Sue letter on May 13, 2016.
The plaintiff filed suit in federal court on August 1, 2016,
naming Securitas and two of the plaintiff's supervisors
as defendants. On August 9, 2016, the plaintiff amended his
complaint (the "Amended Complaint") to remove his
supervisors as defendants, leaving only Securitas.
now moves for summary judgment on all of the plaintiff s
claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For
the following reasons, Securitas's motion is
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
plaintiff has been employed as a Security Officer by
Securitas since November 2006. Statement of Undisputed Facts
in Supp. of Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. ("Statement of
Facts") ¶ 1. Since 2011, the plaintiff has been
stationed at the Met Life building, which is a client of
Securitas. Id. ¶ 34. Securitas has a policy
that prohibits Security Officers from using cell phones at
work sites while on duty, including in the restroom.
Id. ¶ 3. Even when off duty, Security Officers
are only permitted to use cell phones at work sites in the
locker room. Id.
August 6, 2015, the plaintiff entered a men's restroom at
the Met Life building before his shift began. Id.
¶¶ 2, 4-5. As the plaintiff entered the restroom,
Bill McGuire, Securitas's Account Manager at Met Life and
one of the plaintiff's superiors, was exiting the
restroom. Id. ¶ 5. The plaintiff entered one of
the restroora's four stalls, noticing that another stall
was occupied. Id. ¶¶ 4, 6-7. The plaintiff
then heard a cell phone ring from the other occupied stall
while McGuire was washing his hands. Id.
¶¶ 7-8. The plaintiff did not hear anybody speak.
Id. ¶ 7. He then heard the restroom door close
behind McGuire. Id. ¶ 9. Shortly after McGuire
exited the restroom, Winston Torres, the plaintiff's
supervisor, entered the restroom. Id. ¶ 11;
see Am. Compl. at 3. Torres walked in front of the
plaintiffs stall and looked through the crack where the door
is secured. Id. Torres said, "Cardin, Bill
McGuire say you on your phone. Are you on your phone?"
Id. The plaintiff replied, "No, sir, "
which he repeated. Id. ¶ 12. Torres asked the
plaintiff who was in the other occupied stall, to which the
plaintiff responded that he did not know. Id. 114.
The plaintiff did not tell Torres that the plaintiff had
heard a cell phone ring in an adjacent stall. Once Torres
exited the restroom, and the plaintiff was washing his hands,
the plaintiff saw another Security Officer, Floyd Patterson,
exit the stall from which the plaintiff had heard the cell
phone ring. Id. ¶ 20. So concluded the Restroom
later approached the plaintiff in the command center and
handed the plaintiff a write-up for violating Securitas's
cell phone policy. Id. ¶ 21. The plaintiff
refused to sign the write-up and told Torres that he had not
used his cell phone in the restroom. Id. ¶ 22.
The plaintiff still did not tell Torres that he had heard a
cell phone ring in the adjacent occupied stall, or that he
had later seen Security Officer Patterson exit that stall.
Id. ¶ 23. Upon the plaintiff's request,
Torres escorted the plaintiff to McGuire's office.
Id. ¶ 24; Am. Compl. at 8.
McGuire's office, the plaintiff again denied that he had
used a cell phone in the restroom in violation of
Securitas's policy. Id. ¶ 26. Approximately
twenty minutes after the Restroom Incident, McGuire
instructed Torres to tear up the write-up. Id.
¶¶ 26, 29. No. other disciplinary action was taken
against the plaintiff with respect to the Restroom Incident.
Id. ¶ 30. However, Torres received a write-up
for looking into the plaintiff's stall. Id.
plaintiff does not allege that Securitas has retaliated
against him since the Restroom Incident --- he has not been
demoted or transferred, nor have his hours been reduced, and
his hourly compensation has increased after the incident.
Id. ¶ 34. The plaintiff does not allege that
Securitas has enforced its rules against him differently
compared to his fellow employees, Id. ¶ 36, and
the plaintiff is unaware of any supervisor who has ever been
critical of his job performance, Tr. of Pl.'s Dep.
("Tr.") at 63:21-25.
Securitas has a hotline, called Alertline, which employees
can use to complain of suspected discrimination, harassment,
or retaliation. Id. ¶ 33. The plaintiff did not
use Alertline to complain about the Restroom Incident.
Id. However, the plaintiff asserts in his response
to the defendant's motion for summary judgment that he
complained to his union about the Restroom Incident.
See Declaration of Ronald Cardin (Dkt. No. 40)
("Cardin Decl.") ¶ 2.
standard for granting summary judgment is well established.
"The [C]ourt shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986); Darnell v.
Pineiro, 849 F.3d 17, 22 (2d Cir.
2017).1Y[T]he trial court's task at the
summary judgment motion stage of the litigation is carefully
limited to discerning whether there are genuine issues of
material fact to be tried, not to deciding them. Its duty, in
short, is confined at ...