Race Discrimination Claims Sufficiently Alleged Against Westchester Medical Center Advanced Physician Services

In Wray v. Westchester Medical Center Advanced Physician Services, P.C., et al, 21-CV-00394 (PMH), 2022 WL 3214924 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 9, 2022), the court, inter alia, denied defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s race discrimination claims asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the New York State Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

Defendants argue that Plaintiff failed to identify any adverse action except termination and, in any event, has not pled facts suggesting an inference of discrimination. (See Def. Br. at 11-18).

These arguments miss the mark.

First, termination is as an adverse employment action under all three statutes. See Abalola v. St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hosp. Ctr., No. 20-CV-06199, 2022 WL 973861, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2022); United States v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., 407 F. Supp. 3d 365, 393 (S.D.N.Y. 2018). Accordingly, because Plaintiff was fired, she has pled plausibly the adverse employment action element of each claim for relief. The Court need not and will not parse through what other allegations may or may not qualify as an adverse employment action.
Second, as to the inference of discrimination, Plaintiff was terminated from her position as interim Practice Manager and a white person was hired to replace her. (Am. Compl. ¶ 208-09). That is enough, at this stage and on these facts, to meet the de minimis burden required to state a prima facie claim of discrimination under each statute. See, e.g., Styles v. Westchester Cty., No. 18-CV-12021, 2020 WL 1166404, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 10, 2020) (“[T]he mere fact that a plaintiff was replaced by someone outside the protected class will suffice for the required inference of discrimination at the prima facie stage of the Title VII analysis.” (quoting Zimmermann v. Assocs. First Capital Corp., 251 F.3d 376, 381 (2d Cir. 2001) (alteration in original)); Isbell v. City of New York, 316 F. Supp. 3d 571, 591 (S.D.N.Y. 2018) (denying motion to dismiss NYSHRL and § 1981 race discrimination claims because alleging that the black plaintiffs were “largely replaced by non-African American individuals” pled sufficiently an inference of discrimination (internal quotation mark omitted)); see also Cargian v. Breitling USA, Inc., No. 15-CV-01084, 2021 WL 4780327, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 13, 2021).

Based on this, the court denied the motion to dismiss.

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