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Wang v. Precision Extrusion, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. New York

June 26, 2018

HONG WANG, Plaintiff,
v.
PRECISION EXTRUSION, INC.; PEXCO, LLC; ALL-WEST PLASTICS, INC.; and SPECTRUM PLASTICS GROUP, INC., Defendants.

          FITZGERALD MORRIS BAKER FIRTH, P.C. ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF

          NELSON MULLINS RILEY & SCARBOROUGH LLP ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS

          CARTER, CONBOY, CASE, BLACKMORE, MALONEY & LAIRD, P.C. ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS

          ASISH NELLUVELY, ESQ. JOHN D. ASPLAND, ESQ. GREGORY M. O'NEIL, ESQ. WILLIAM J. DECAIRE, ESQ. OF COUNSEL

          MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

          Frederick J., Scullin, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Defendants' motion, pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint in its entirety for failure to state a claim and because all of her claims are subject to mandatory arbitration. See Dkt. No. 5; Dkt. No. 5-6. Plaintiff opposes the motion in part. See Dkt. Nos. 9, 30.

         II. BACKGROUND

         At the time she filed her complaint, on March 20, 2018, Plaintiff, a woman of Chinese origin, was 52 years old. As part of a merger between Defendant Precision Extrusion, Inc. ("PEI") and Defendant Pexco, Plaintiff executed an Employment Agreement that allowed her to continue employment at Defendant PEI as Vice President of Operations, Glens Falls. See Dkt. No. 5-2 ("Employment Agreement") at § 1.2. Plaintiff alleges that, "[f]ollowing the acquisition of PEI by Pexco, [Defendants'] Executives subjected [her] to numerous instances of unprofessional and disrespectful conduct, amounting to harassment and discrimination based on her age, gender, race, and national origin." See Dkt. No. 1 ("Complaint") at ¶ 22. Furthermore, she asserts that, [a]s the only non-white female executive over the age of 40, Pexco's inescapable 'boys' club' culture precluded [her] from actively participating in decision-making commensurate with her position in the company." See Id. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that she "was subjected to a pattern of harassment and discrimination over the course of her employment between December 8, 2015 and February 20, 2017, by [Defendants] PEI [and] Pexco . . . and their executives . . ., excluded from meetings based on her age, gender, race, and national origin, and ultimately stripped of her responsibilities in retaliation for filing a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination and harassment against [Defendants'] executives." See Id. at ¶ 23. Furthermore, she claims that, after she complained about the conduct of Defendants' Executives, Defendants retaliated against her by stripping her of her responsibilities; and, despite her complaints, Defendants allowed their executives to create and foster a hostile work environment and permitted a pervasive culture of harassment to exist in the workplace. See Id. at ¶ 24. Finally, Plaintiff alleges that, as a result of this conduct, she "endure[d] significant emotional distress, which manifested in dangerously elevated blood pressure, requiring her to take medical leave, and eventually caused her to resign from her employment with PEI on or about February 20, 2017." See Id. at ¶ 25.

         Based on these allegations, Plaintiff asserted fifteen causes of action, alleging discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation based on age, sex, race, and national origin under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and New York State Executive Law.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Preliminary matter

         Plaintiff does not oppose Defendants' motion to dismiss all of her causes of action against Defendants All-West Plastics, Inc. and Spectrum Plastics Group, Inc., in effect conceding that neither of these Defendants is her employer. Furthermore, Plaintiff does not oppose Defendants' motion to dismiss her Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, Tenth, Twelfth, and Fourteenth Causes of Action, all of which are based on alleged violations of New York State Executive Law, commonly referred to as New York State Human Rights Law. With regard to these causes of action, Plaintiff, in effect, concedes that this Court does not have jurisdiction because she chose to resolve these claims administratively. Therefore, the Court grants Defendants' motion to dismiss the above-named Defendants and causes of action.

         As a result, the two remaining Defendants in this action are Precision Extrusion, Inc. and Pexco, LLC. The remaining causes of action are as follows:

(1) First Cause of Action - constructive discharge because of Plaintiff's age in violation of the ADEA;
(2) Second Cause of Action - retaliation for complaining about discrimination in violation of the ADEA;
(3) Third Cause of Action - hostile work environment based on Plaintiff's age in violation of the ADEA;
(4) Fifth Cause of Action - discrimination based on Plaintiff's gender in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981;
(5) Seventh Cause of Action - discrimination based on Plaintiff's race in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981;
(6) Ninth Cause of Action - hostile work environment based on Plaintiff's race and gender in violation of Title VII ...

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