NYC Sanitation Department Wins Dismissal of Discriminatory Failure-to-Promote Claims

In Burgis v. City of New York Dept. of Sanitation, 2018 NY Slip Op 33322(U) (NY Sup. Ct. NY Cty. Dec. 20, 2018), the court dismissed plaintiffs’ claims of discriminatory failure to promote.

As to the disparate treatment claim, the court explained:

Here, as defendant contends, the Court finds that the complaint is devoid of any factual allegations from which an inference of discriminatory intent or animus may be drawn. Rather, the complaint asserts vague, conclusory allegations of plaintiffs’ inability to be promoted beyond the GSl position … . While allegations must be construed liberally on motion to dismiss, plaintiffs must support [their] claim with more than mere speculation[.]

Here, none of the plaintiffs identify a specific open position that they applied for and when or whether they expressed an interest in being promoted, nor are there any facts supporting which individuals were responsible for making the decisions to promote. As a result, these claims must be dismissed[.]

The court also dismissed plaintiff’s claims based on a disparate impact theory, noting (inter alia) that “aside from the allegation that there is a bottom line racial imbalance in the GS2 through GS4 workforce, which alone is insufficient, plaintiffs fail to allege any facts that defendant’s actions in passing over plaintiffs for promotions to the higher supervisory positions was racially motivated[.]”