United States District Court, E.D. New York
ANTHONY R. JONES, Plaintiff,
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, BERNARD GASSAWAY, individually and in his official capacity, JOHN DOES 1-10, and XYZ CORP. 1-10, Defendants.
the Plaintiff RUDY ARTIN DERMESROPIAN Rudy A. Dermesropian,
the Defendant CHRISTOPHER JOHN YEE COYNE SCOTT CRAIG
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
FREDERIC BLOCK SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Anthony Jones brings claims against defendants New York City
Department of Education (“DOE”), Bernard
Gassaway, and unidentified defendants, alleging age
discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment
under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
(“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), as
amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the New York State
Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), Executive Law §
296 et seq., and the New York City Human Rights Law
(“NYCHRL”), Administrative Code § 8-101 et
seq. Defendants move to dismiss the operative First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”) pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defendants' motion is granted
in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff's Employment at the Boys and Girls High School
alleged facts are as follows: plaintiff is a 63-year-old man
who was employed as a track coach and math teacher with the
DOE at the Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn. He worked
as a volunteer Assistant Track and Field Coach from 1973
until 2002, when he was appointed to Head Track Coach for the
Freshman and Sophomore Boys teams and began working as a per
diem substitute math teacher. He was appointed as a full time
math teacher in 2005 and Head Boys Track Coach in 2012. The
team won a national title under his guidance in 2014.
employment status was disputed between 2008 and 2014, and he
brought five successful grievances against the school arguing
he was “coded” improperly-that is, the school was
treating him as a substitute teacher even though he was
full-time, affecting his pay, benefits, and ability to secure
union representation. FAC ¶ 42.
had a poor relationship with Bernard Gassaway, the
school's principal, whom he accused of discriminating
against older employees and instigating his coding problems.
He also alleges that Gassaway refused to promote him to head
track coach until he signed a letter stating he would not
submit another grievance.
Plaintiff's Alleged Profanity Towards a Student
29, 2014, during 7th period, plaintiff allegedly barged into
another teacher's classroom, Room 381, and yelled
“you are a fake ass runner” at a track student.
FAC ¶ 53.
alleges he was framed for this event. He claims he was in his
own classroom, Room 340, meeting with Volunteer Assistant
Coach Cassandra Clark at the time of the alleged incident.
Furthermore, he alleges the student was in a different
classroom, Room 423, during 7th period.
plaintiff was terminated on July 16, 2014. He was given a
second chance by the substitute unit Executive Director Dr.
Ianniello, who allowed him to be reinstated as a substitute
after passing an anger management course.
upon learning of this reinstatement, issued plaintiff an
“Unsatisfactory” rating on which he allegedly
forged plaintiff's signature. On August 28, 2014,
Gassaway overrode the payroll system to deny plaintiff union
protections and terminated him.
compares his treatment to that of a younger coach, Jamaal A.
Harvey, who was in his mid-30s. Harvey allegedly swore at
Gassaway in a meeting but was not disciplined. Furthermore,
under Harvey's watch, the entire girls' track team
was suspended for fighting. However, he faced no disciplinary
also alleges that in June 2013, the DOE gave 45 teachers over
the age of 40 Unsatisfactory ratings and replaced them with
22 teachers under that age.
plaintiff alleges that before he was terminated, he raised
his complaints with coworkers. Several coworkers agreed with
him that Gassaway “treats us old timers like crap,
” or “doesn't like old timers like
you.” He also alleges that in 2013, after being demoted
to a less important math class, he was told by Assistant
Principal Whittingham that Gassaway “doesn't like
you because you complain and file grievances, so they
transferred you to me.”
28, 2015, plaintiff filed a claim with the New York State
Division of Human Rights (“DHR”), which was then
sent to the EEOC as a dual filing. After an investigation,
his DHR complaint was dismissed on October 30, 2015, and his
EEOC complaint was ...