Discrimination Complaint Should Have Been Dismissed; Employment Refusal Preceded Communication of Employment Decision

In Morales v. Triborough Podiatry, P.C., No. 2019-03110, 521586/18, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 03408, 2020 WL 3261059 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. June 17, 2020), the Second Department reversed the lower court’s order denying defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint alleging race and sex discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

The provisions of the NYCHRL “must be construed ‘broadly in favor of discrimination plaintiffs, to the extent that such a construction is reasonably possible’ ” (Nelson v. HSBC Bank USA, 87 A.D.3d 995, 997, 929 N.Y.S.2d 259, quoting Albunio v. City of New York, 16 N.Y.3d 472, 477–478, 922 N.Y.S.2d 244, 947 N.E.2d 135). However, the complaint, given a liberal construction, fails to allege that adverse employment action or alteration in employment occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination based on the plaintiff’s membership in a protected class (see Torres v. Louzoun Enters., Inc., 105 A.D.3d at 945–946, 963 N.Y.S.2d 682). Rather, the complaint alleges that the plaintiff refused employment with the defendants before even being informed that any employment decision had been made. Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted the defendants’ motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss the complaint.

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