Court Officer’s Disability Discrimination and Retaliation Claims Survive Dismissal

In Boncimino v. New York Unified Court System et al, 17-cv-6760, 2018 WL 2225004 (S.D.N.Y. May 15, 2018), the court held that plaintiff, a New York State Court Officer, plausibly alleged claims for retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), as well as disability discrimination under the NYCHRL.

For example, as to his FMLA retaliation claim, the court explained:

Plaintiff’s allegations that, following his January 2017 injury, officers repeatedly and continuously, among other things, called him “fragimino” or “fragilmino,” (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 3, 160, 174), that they had posted photoshopped images of him wearing a bubble suit, (id. ¶¶ 171–74), that he was told that he “wasn’t doing anything” and “need[ed] . . . to do more law enforcement work,” (id. ¶ 179), that he was made to do fingerprinting work over his objections that it would cause his injuries to get worse, (id. ¶ 181), and that he was denied light duty work, (id. ¶¶ 77, 191), are sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, see Harper, 673 F. Supp. 2d at 179 (finding that the plaintiff’s allegations that “her job location changed, and that she was stripped of certain privileges that she had before taking FMLA leave” was sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss). Further, the fact that Human Resources allegedly denied Plaintiff’s leave benefits on the basis that his panic attack was “not . . . workers’ compensation related” could also dissuade a worker from exercising his rights. (Am. Compl. ¶ 216.) Accordingly, the Individual Defendants’ motion to dismiss is denied as to Plaintiff’s FMLA retaliation claim against them.

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