Disability Discrimination Claim, Arising From Depression Disclosure, Properly Dismissed

In Correa v. City of New York, 2020 NY Slip Op 06383 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. Nov. 10, 2020), the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws.

From the decision:

Plaintiff alleges that defendants discriminated against her on the basis of disability when they terminated her employment shortly after she revealed to her immediate supervisor that she was being treated for depression. The complaint alleges that before the revelation was made, plaintiff had been investigated for violating certain of defendants’ policies and procedures (of which the record shows she was aware).

The complaint fails to state a cause of action under the State and City Human Rights Laws because it alleges no facts from which it can be inferred that plaintiff’s disability was a factor in the termination of her employment(see Farkas v River House Realty Co., Inc., 173 AD3d 405 [1st Dept 2019]). The complaint does not allege that anyone other than plaintiff’s immediate supervisor was aware of her disability or that the supervisor was consulted about the termination (see Anonymous v Mount Sinai Hosp., 164 AD3d 1167, 1168 [1st Dept 2018], lv denied 32 NY3d 913 [2019]). To the extent plaintiff relies on the temporal proximity between her revelation to her supervisor of her disability and her termination from employment, it does not avail her in the absence of any allegations suggesting a causal connection between the two events (see Koester v New York Blood Ctr., 55 AD3d 447, 449 [1st Dept 2008]).

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