Gender Discrimination Claim Insufficiently Alleged Against Onondaga County et al

In Peck v. County of Onondaga et al, 21-CV-651, 2021 WL 3710546 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 20, 2021), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s gender discrimination claim as insufficiently pled.

From the decision:

Peck’s allegations of gender discrimination are stronger [than her dismissed religious discrimination claim], but not by enough. The sum total of the specific allegations of gender discrimination in the complaint are: (1) plaintiff claims “[u]pon information and belief” that male co-workers were not denied injury benefits (although plaintiff’s lone comparator to support this allegation is a female); and (2) plaintiff claims that she was passed over for promotion to sergeant twice, although one of the officers promoted was a female. Compl. ¶¶ 33-34, 35, but see id. ¶ 55 (identifying as comparator for benefits White female Sergeant Jane DeMarco).

ourts routinely reject complaints relying on comparisons this threadbare. See Williams v. N.Y.C. Health & Hosp. Corp., 2010 WL 2836356, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. July 16, 2010) (dismissing Title VII claim where plaintiff only alleged that “[u]pon information and belief, males got paid when they were out sick but females [did] not” but failed to specify any facts to support claim). This Court sees no reason to set itself apart on that score.

These two threadbare comparisons aside, Peck only offers vague and conclusory allegations; for example plaintiff alleges that she was “subjected to conduct designed to degrade and demean her on the basis of her race, gender, religion, and/or protected activity.” Compl. ¶ 37. These allegations are not enough to save her claims of gender discrimination, either. See, e.g., Kunik v. N.Y.C. Dep’t of Educ., 436 F. Supp. 3d 684, 696-97 (S.D.N.Y. 2020) (dismissing discrimination claim because “[p]laintiff fails to identify any evidence of [discriminatory] remarks … negative comments about others in her protected classes, or any evidence to show discriminatory intent or disparate treatment” where only allegations of discrimination were conclusory).

As such, the court concluded that plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that she was discriminated against on the basis of gender.

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