Age Discrimination Sufficiently Alleged; Motion for Reconsideration Denied

In Gentile v. Touro Law Center, 21-CV-1345 (JS)(ARL), 2024 WL 1719608 (E.D.N.Y. April 22, 2024), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion for reconsideration of its decision to deny defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claim of age discrimination asserted under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

The court explained the procedural history (forming the context for its decision) as follows:

In declining to dismiss Plaintiff’s ADEA claim, the Court observed that it could not “adequately evaluate” whether Maligore’s remark during Plaintiff’s interview, that Touro “wanted to hire someone who would ‘stay with the job for many years’ ”, was a mere stray remark, or whether it bore some more ominous significance, without the benefit of a developed record. The Court observed that the speaker of the comment, Maligore, was Plaintiff’s interviewer, and that at the motion to dismiss stage it was fair to infer, as the person conducting Plaintiff’s interview, Maligore could have played an influential role in shaping the Dean’s final hiring decision. (Id. at 14 n.8.) Given that the remark was allegedly made in Plaintiff’s interview, the comment also bore a meaningful nexus to the adverse employment decision of which Plaintiff complained. Consequently, the Court concluded that, “while the stray remarks of a decision-maker, without more, cannot prove a claim of employment discrimination” (id. (internal alterations, quotation marks and citation omitted)), Plaintiff’s FAC pled facts “to sufficiently establish a plausible inference that age may have played an improper consideration in Defendants’ decision not to hire Plaintiff.” The Court highlighted it could more fairly assess the probative nature of the Maligore remark if there was a more developed record, where such remark could be considered within the totality of the evidence. [Citations omitted.]

Turning to the issue of reconsideration, the court noted that “[r]econsideration is not a proper tool to repackage and re-litigate arguments and issues already considered by the Court in deciding the original motion” and found that defendant’s “arguments are merely a regurgitation of the theories it previously presented to the Court as part of its Dismissal Motion.”

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