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Melendez v. POP Displays USA

United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 27, 2018

EDWARD MELENDEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
POP DISPLAYS USA, NARVIN PARSRAM, “TONJI, ” “MARIAM” a/k/a “HAWA, ” and “LEBER, ” Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          KATHERINE B. FORREST United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Edward Melendez (“Melendez” or “plaintiff”) originally commenced this pro se action against defendants POP Displays USA (“POP”) and Narvin Pasram (“Pasram”) (collectively, “defendants”)[1] on May 30, 2017 in New York State court. (See ECF No. 1-1.) After plaintiff amended his complaint to include a purported federal defamation claim, defendants removed the action to this Court on March 15, 2018. (See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1.)

         Currently before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”).[2] (ECF No. 32.) Plaintiff opposed and sought leave to file a third amended complaint by submissions dated June 25, 2018 (ECF No. 44) and June 29, 2018 (ECF No. 47). Defendants replied on July 20, 2018.

         For the reasons stated below, the Court hereby DENIES plaintiff's request to file a third amended complaint and GRANTS defendants' motion to dismiss at ECF No. 32.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following factual allegations are derived from the complaints[3], and are presumed true for purposes of the pending motion to dismiss.

         A. Underlying Allegations

         At all times relevant to this action, plaintiff was employed as a temporary employee by Active Staffing Services (“Active Staffing”), a New York-based temp agency. (See Compl. ¶4, ECF No. 1-1.) From approximately December 2015 until March 24, 2017, plaintiff was assigned to work the “C-Shift” at the POP factory in Yonkers, New York. (Id. ¶¶ 5-6.) Plaintiff alleges that during his time with POP, he displayed “great work ethics” and leadership, and that he was offered “permanent” employment on at least four occasions. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8.)

         On March 24, 2017, while working on the “A2 area assembly line, ” plaintiff was approached by a Senior Line Leader named “Mariam.” (Id. ¶ 10.) Plaintiff alleges that Mariam informed him that he was “not working at all, ” and later “aggressively stated . . . ‘you wanna talk shit behind my back, come and meet me outside.” (Id.) Plaintiff ignored Mariam's request, and later “asked if she was ok and gave [her] a warm and comforting hug.” (Id.)

         On March 27, 2017, plaintiff received a call from Active Staffing informing him not to return to work at POP. (Id ¶ 11.) Active Staffing further informed plaintiff that it had received a memo signed by defendant Pasram, the C-Shift Supervisor, “implying that [he] did not do any work, arguing with line leaders, and that [he] is barred from working at [POP].” (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that since his termination from POP, he has not been assigned to any other job sites and has been unable to produce income for his family. (Id. ¶ 13.)

         In his First Amended Complaint, plaintiff included further allegations related to his employment at POP. (See generally Notice of Claim Amended (“FAC”), ECF No. 1-2.) Specifically, plaintiff alleged the following:

. That from October 13, 2016 until October 20, 2016, a POP employee named “Tonji” defamed and sexually harassed him to co-workers, causing him to be hospitalized from an anxiety attack. (Id. ¶ 1.)
. That Mariam made defamatory comments about him to a POP employee named “Leber” on March 25, 2017. (Id ¶ 2.)
. That Leber, who supervises the “Molding Area” at POP, sent two libelous e-mails about him to Active Staffing on or about October 22-23, 2016 and March 24-25, 2016. (Id. ¶ 3.)
. That Pasram failed to adequately investigate the incident between him and Mariam on March 24-25, 2016, since Pasram never approached him for his side of the story. (Id. ¶ 4.)

         Plaintiff has subsequently alleged that he “has a disability which is a mental illness called ‘[depression'” (SAC ¶ at 2.)

         B. Causes of Action

         Plaintiff filed the SAC, which incorporates the factual allegations contained in the Complaint and FAC, on April 27, 2018. (See SAC, ECF No. 17.) Although the SAC is not a model of clarity, the Court construes it liberally as raising the following causes of action:

. Hostile work environment based on sexual harassment and disability discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the New York State Human Rights ...

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