Employment Discrimination Claims Dismissed Against FDNY

In George Ful Ninying v. Fire Department, City of New York, 17-cv-688, 2017 WL 4570784 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 11, 2017), the court dismissed – as insufficiently pled – plaintiff’s employment discrimination claims for failure to state a claim.

Initially, the court explained that plaintiff sued the wrong entity (the FDNY). Specifically, the FDNY may not be sued, since “under the New York City Charter, ‘all actions and proceedings for the recovery of penalties for the violation of any law shall be brought in the name of the City of New York and not in that of any agency, except where otherwise provided by law.'” (The court noted that plaintiff will be permitted to amend his complaint to bring the action against the City of New York.)

Turning to the merits, the court explained:

The instant complaint is devoid of any facts that would support an employment discrimination claim. In support of his age discrimination claims, for example, Plaintiff simply checks the box for age discrimination on his form complaint. There are no allegations suggesting that Defendant acted in a discriminatory manner based on Plaintiff’s age. At a minimum, an ADEA claimant must inform the court and the defendant why he believes age discrimination existed. See Dugan v. Martin Marietta Aerospace, 760 F.2d 397, 399 (2d Cir. 1985) (“While a claim made under the ADEA need not contain every supporting detail, it must at least inform the court and the defendant generally of the reasons the plaintiff believes age discrimination has been practiced.”). The same is required for Plaintiff’s claims under the NYSHRL. See Dimitracopoulos v. City of New York, 26 F. Supp. 3d 200, 216 (E.D.N.Y. 2014) (“Discrimination claims brought under the NYSHRL are analyzed under the same standard as those governing the ADEA.”) Here, Plaintiff simply asserts, without further elaboration, that he is more than forty years of age, but he provides no detail as to any discriminatory acts taken by Defendant. This is simply insufficient to plead a violation of the ADEA or the NYSHRL, and these claims are therefore dismissed without prejudice.

The Court construes Plaintiff’s claims of discrimination on the basis of gender, national origin, and color, as alleging a violation of Title VII. As with Plaintiff’s age discrimination claims, Plaintiff provides no facts that could possibly connect any adverse employment action to a protected status, as is required to state a claim under Title VII. See Vega v. Hempstead Union School Dist., 801 F.3d 72, 86-87 (2d Cir. 2015) (a plaintiff asserting a Title VII discrimination claim must allege facts showing that “(1) the employer took adverse action against him and (2) his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was a motivating factor in the employment decision,” which can be shown “by alleging facts that directly show discrimination or facts that indirectly show discrimination by giving rise to a plausible inference of discrimination.”). Here, to the extent that Plaintiff seeks to assert a Title VII claim, he fails to plead any facts in support of this claim, and this claim is therefore dismissed for failure to state a claim.

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