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Crawford v. US Security Associates

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 5, 2020

DAARON CRAWFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
US SECURITY ASSOCIATES, Defendant.

          ORDER

          PAUL G. GARDEPHE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On January 4, 2019, pro se Plaintiff Daaron Crawford filed a complaint alleging that U.S. Security Associates, Inc. ("U.S. Security") had discriminated against him in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the New York City Human Rights Law. Crawford claims that Defendant did not hire him because of a disability.

         On March 6, 2019, the Clerk of Court entered a certificate of default against U.S. Security. (Dkt. No. 9) Two days later, U.S. Security filed a motion to set aside the entry of default under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(c) and to dismiss the Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 11) The Court referred the motion to Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger (Dkt. No. 19), who issued a 17-page report and recommendation ("R&R") recommending that the Court vacate the entry of default and grant U.S. Security's motion to dismiss. (R&R (Dkt. No. 20)) For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts Judge Lehrburger's R&R in its entirety as it pertains to Plaintiffs federal claims. The Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs New York City Human Rights Law claim.

         BACKGROUND

         I. FACTS

         In 2014, Crawford was employed as a security guard by a contractor that provided security services to Goldman Sachs in New York City. (Cmplt. (Dkt. 1) at 5, 21-22)[1] On September 26, 2014, Crawford took a medical leave of absence after his toe was amputated due to underlying diabetes. (Id. at 22) In January 2015, while still on medical leave, Crawford learned that Goldman Sachs was switching security companies, and that U.S. Security Associates would take over the Goldman Sachs contract effective February 1, 2015. (Id. at 13, 22)

         Crawford applied for employment with U.S. Security in January 2015, so that he could continue working at the Goldman Sachs location. (Id. at 22) On January 30, 2015, two days before U.S. Security was scheduled to take over the security contract for Goldman Sachs, U.S. Security's human resources department sent an email to Crawford stating that his application would "be reviewed shortly" and that U.S. Security would contact him if his qualifications met the company's requirements. (Id. at 19)

         In March 2015, Crawford received medical clearance to return to work. (Id. at 22) He then repeatedly contacted Defendant about the status of his application. (Id. at 22-25) For example, in April 2015, Crawford met with U.S. Security's human resources department, and was told that someone would contact him "soon" about his application. (Id. at 23) In May 2015, a U.S. Security's human resources department employee told Crawford him that "they were still waiting on a decision" concerning this application. (Id.)

         On March 7, 2016, more than a year after he had applied to U.S. Security, Crawford received an email from U.S. Security's human resources department, which stated that "after a careful review of your application, we have elected to pursue other candidates whose qualifications more closely match our needs for this position." (Id. at 20)

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On March 16, 2018, Crawford sent a fax to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in which he complained that, after "a 6 month leave of absence due to a serious medical condition involving a[n] amputation," he was "never given the opportunity to get [his] job back." (Id. at 11) Crawford does not identify the employer or the position he was seeking, but states that he "would like to file a charge" against the employer. (Id.)

         On November 29, 2018, Crawford submitted a formal charge of discrimination against U.S. Security with the EEOC. (Id. at 30) Crawford claimed that, in failing to hire him for a security guard position at Goldman Sachs, U.S. Security had discriminated against him on the basis of a disability. (Id.) On December 6, 2018, the EEOC issued a letter informing Crawford that his charge was untimely, as he had filed it more than "300 days [after] the date of the last employment harm due to the alleged discrimination." (Id. at 31)

         On January 4, 2019, Crawford filed the instant Complaint against U.S. Security, alleging disability discrimination in violation of the ADA, Title VII, and the New York City Human Rights Law. (Id. at 3-4) As Judge Lehrburger notes (R&R (Dkt. No. 20) at 4), although Crawford checks boxes alleging failure to hire and retaliation on the form complaint, his factual allegations concern exclusively a failure to hire. (Id. at 5, 21-29)

         On February 22, 2019, Crawford filed an affidavit of service stating that he had served the Complaint on January 10, 2019. (Dkt. No. 4) U.S. Security did not answer or appear, and on March 5, 2019, Crawford applied for a Clerk's certificate of default. (Dkt. Nos. 5, 7, 8) The Clerk of Court issued a certificate of default on March 6, 2019. (Dkt. No. 9) On March 8, 2019 - two days later - U.S. Security moved to set aside the entry of default and to dismiss the complaint. (Dkt. Nos. 11, 12)

         On August 30, 2019, the Court referred U.S. Security's motion to Judge Lehrburger. (Dkt. No. 19) In a September 11, 2019 R&R, Judge Lehrburger recommends that the entry of default be set aside and that the complaint be dismissed. The R&R warns that a "[f]ailure to file timely objections will result in a waiver of objections and will preclude appellate review." (R&R (Dkt. No. 20) at 16 (emphasis in original)) The R&R further notes that Judge Lehrburger's chambers mailed ...


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