Employment Discrimination Claims Stated Against Individual Defendant

In Santiago v. Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, 2017 WL 4410807, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2017), the court held that a default judgment may be entered against an individual defendant on plaintiff’s claims of discrimination.

As to plaintiff’s claims under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws, the court explained:

To establish a claim under the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL, a plaintiff must show that he was a member of a protected class, qualified for the position, and that he suffered an adverse employment action under circumstances giving rise to an inference of age discrimination. Abdu-Brisson v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 239 F.3d 456, 466-67 (2d Cir. 2001). For the reasons stated by the magistrate judge, Plaintiff made out a prima facie case of age discrimination. (See R & R at 29-30.) Individuals may be found liable under the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL for “aiding and abetting” the discriminatory conduct of an employer. Johnson v. County of Nassau, 82 F. Supp.3d 533, 536 (E.D.N.Y. 2015). An individual need not have supervisory or hiring and firing power, but actually must have participated in the conduct giving rise to the claim of discrimination. Davis-Bell v. Columbia Univ., 851 F. Supp.2d 650, 687 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). Plaintiff adequately pled that Carroll-Byfield violated the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL by alleging that Carroll-Byfield participated in the decision to terminate Plaintiff as part of a systematic campaign to rid her employer of all of its older and non-West Indian employees in the accounting department.

As to plaintiff’s claim under 42 U.S.C. 1981, the court held:

Plaintiff adequately has stated a § 1981 claim against Carroll-Byfield, by alleging that she served as the Administrator of Marcus Garvey and Crown Heights, had the authority to hire and fire employees, supervised the conditions of their employment, and determined rates and methods of pay. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 50-52.) Plaintiff also alleges that Carroll-Byfield participated in the decision to hire Mr. Sadiku, who, Plaintiff alleges, was younger and less experienced than Plaintiff, but was hired based on his age and West Indian origins. (Id. ¶ 75.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Carroll-Byfield participated in the decision to fire Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 77.) These allegations have not been disputed. Thus, the Court finds that plaintiff adequately has alleged a § 1981 claim against Carroll-Byfield.

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