Adams v. Montefiore Medical Center et al
OPINION AND ORDER. For the foregoing reasons, defendants' motion for summary judgment at ECF No. 37 is GRANTED in its entirety. The Clerk of Court is directed to close any open motions and to terminate this action. SO ORDERED. re: 37 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Tita Aguliar-Niere, Montefiore Medical Center. (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 10/3/2017) (rjm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER, and
TITA AGULIAR-NIERE, NURSE MANAGER :
DOC #: _________________
DATE FILED: October 3, 2017
OPINION & ORDER
KATHERINE B. FORREST, District Judge:
On June 29, 2015, Chinyere Adams (“plaintiff” or “Adams”) commenced this
employment discrimination action against her former employer, Montefiore Medical
Center (“Montefiore”), and her former supervisor, Tita Aguilar-Niere (“Aguilar”)
(collectively, “defendants”). (ECF No. 1.) Adams alleges, in sum, that defendants
discriminated and retaliated against her based on her race and/or national origin in
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”),
N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-101 et seq., and the New York State Human Rights
Executive Law (“NYSHRL”).
Following a period of discovery, defendants moved for summary judgment on
November 21, 2016. (ECF No. 37.) Adams opposed that motion on February 14,
2017 (ECF No. 61), and defendants replied on March 24, 2017 (ECF No. 66).
For the reasons discussed below, the Court hereby GRANTS defendants’
motion in its entirety.
The following facts are taken from the parties’ submissions under Local Civ.
R. 56.1, and are undisputed unless otherwise noted.1
At all times relevant to this action, defendant Aguilar worked for defendant
Montefiore as an Administrative Nurse Manager (“ANM”). (Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’
Rule 56.1 Statement (“Pl.’s 56.1 Resp.”) ¶ 3, ECF No. 57.) In that role, Aguilar was
responsible for, inter alia, ensuring patient care and satisfaction and supervising
the nursing staff, including Adams. (Id. ¶ 14.) In 2005, Aguilar interviewed
Adams for a position at Montefiore, and ultimately recommended that she be hired.
(Id. ¶ 9.)
On June 6, 2005, Adams began work as a Nursing Attendant (“NA”) at
Montefiore’s Moses Hospital in the Bronx, New York. (Id. ¶ 8.) As an NA, Adams
was responsible for, inter alia, taking patients’ vital signs, answering calls, and
doing rounds. (Id. ¶ 26.) Adams worked on a per diem basis until August or
September 2005, at which point Aguilar moved her to a part-time position. (Id. ¶¶
22-23.) Aguilar subsequently moved plaintiff to a full time position in February
Pursuant to Local Civ. R. 56.1(c), “[e]ach numbered paragraph in the statement of material facts . .
. will be deemed to be admitted . . . unless specifically controverted . . . in the statement required to
be served by the opposing party.” There are numerous instances where plaintiff neither admits nor
denies a fact, but rather (1) adds additional facts, (2) quibbles with defendants’ characterization of
the fact; or (3) makes legal arguments. There are also numerous instances where, although plaintiff
“denies” a fact in form, she does not actually controvert the fact in substance (e.g., where she denies
responsibility for a workplace incident that resulted in discipline, but does deny that the discipline
was issued). In all such instances, defendants’ asserted facts are deemed admitted to the extent they
are properly supported.
2008. (Id. ¶ 24.) As a result of each move, plaintiff “worked more hours and
earned more money.” (Id. ¶¶ 23-24.)
From 2011-2012, Adams was involved in at least four incidents related to her
workplace conduct, three of which resulted in discipline:
On May 10, 2011, a Patient Care Coordinator (“PCC”) named Sherri
Bradshaw reported that Adams “responded rudely . . . [when asked] to
send a stool specimen, and then walked away.” (Defs.’ Statement of
Undisputed Material Facts Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 (“Defs.’ 56.1
Statement”) ¶ 62, ECF No. 39.) Adams was subsequently issued a written
“verbal warning” that indicated future incidents “could lead to suspension
or possible termination” on June 16, 2011 (the “June 16 Warning”). (Id. ¶
64; Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶ 64.)
On November 1, 2011, Aguilar received an e-mail from Christina Jones,
the Assistant Director of Nursing, relaying a complaint from PCC
Bradshaw that Adams had yelled at her in a threatening manner. (Defs.’
56.1 Statement ¶ 67.) Adams was subsequently issued a written “verbal
warning” in the presence of a union delegate on February 1, 2012 (the
“February 1 Warning”). (Id. ¶ 69; Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶ 69.)
On March 10, 2012, PCC Bradshaw reported to Aguilar that Adams had
yelled at her. (Defs.’ 56.1 Statement ¶ 74a.) On March 29, 2012, an RN
named Amy Lizaso-Belir reported to Aguilar that Adams had an outburst
at the nurses’ station. (Id. ¶ 74b.) As a result of these two incidents,
Adams was suspended from work on March 30, 2012 (the “March 30
Suspension”). (Id. ¶ 73; Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶ 73.)
On July 6, 2012, an RN named Gary Bendykowski reported that he had
been involved in a dispute with Adams regarding Adams’s job
responsibilities (the “July 6 Report”). (Defs.’ 56.1 Statement ¶¶ 76-78;
Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶¶ 76-78.)
On August 30, 2012, Aguilar met with Janice Reyes, the Labor & Employee
Relations Manager in Montefiore’s Human Resources Department, to discuss
Adams. (Defs.’ 56.1 Statement ¶¶ 83, 85-86.) At that meeting, Aguilar and Reyes
decided to terminate Adams’s employment as a result of the February 1 Warning,
the March 30 Suspension, and the July 6 Report. (Id. ¶ 86.) Aguilar subsequently
prepared a draft termination notice, and sent it to Reyes for review on September 5,
2012. (Id. ¶ 91.) Adams does not specifically deny that the August 30 meeting took
place (Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶¶ 83, 85), that Aguilar and Reyes decided to terminate her
employment on that date (Id. ¶ 86), or that Aguilar prepared a draft termination
notice on September 5 (Id. ¶ 91). Instead, Adams questions why she was allowed to
continue working after August 30 (Id. ¶ 86), and reiterates her allegation that it
was Aguilar’s “long nurtured goal” to terminate her (Id. ¶ 91).
On September 21, 2012, a patient submitted a complaint alleging that an NA
named “Chi-Chi” had spilled urine on the patient’s sheets (the “September 21
Complaint”). (Defs.’ 56.1 Statement ¶ 93.) Aguilar initially suspected that Adams
was responsible because her nickname was Chi-Chi, and prepared a revised draft of
the termination notice that included the September 21 Complaint. (Id. ¶ 96.) After
further investigation, however, Aguilar determined that Adams had been
mistakenly identified by the patient. (Id. ¶¶ 97-102.) As a result, Aguilar prepared
a final draft of the termination notice and removed all references to the September
21 Complaint. (Id. ¶ 103.)
On the morning of November 1, 2012, Aguilar told Adams that she wanted to
meet with her in the presence of a union delegate. (Id. ¶ 105; Adams Dep. Tr. at
210, ECF No. 40-1.) Accordingly, Adams arranged to meet with a union delegate at
1:00 p.m. the same day. (Id.) Shortly before 1:00 p.m., the union delegate informed
Adams that Aguilar was unavailable to meet at the planned time. (Id. at 106;
Adams Dep. Tr. at 211.) Adams then called Aguilar, and was told to return on
November 5, 2012 with a union delegate. (Id. ¶ 107.) In response to this series of
events, Adams decided to submit a “letter that [she] already wrote” (the “November
1 Letter”) to Montefiore’s Human Resources Department. (Id. ¶ 107; Adams Dep.
Tr. at 213.) Adams concedes that she only submitted the November 1 Letter “after
she was told to bring a union delegate and after she and Aguilar spoke on the
phone.” (Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶ 108.)
On the morning of November 5, 2012, Adams met with Aguilar in the
presence of a union delegate and a management witness. (Id. ¶ 109.) During that
meeting, Adams was informed that her employment was being terminated, and she
was given a written termination notice. (Id. ¶¶ 109-110.) The termination notice
stated that Adams was being terminated based on “violation of Montefiore’s medical
rules and regulations policy, unsatisfactory performance of work assignment,
negligence or carelessness in performing work assignment, [and] inappropriate
behavior toward or discourteous treatment of patients, colleagues, visitors,
volunteers or any person.” (Id. ¶ 110.) The termination notice also specifically
referenced, inter alia, the June 16 Warning, the February 1 Warning, the March 30
Suspension, and the July 6 Report. (Id. ¶¶ 111-112.)
Central to plaintiff’s complaint are two letters that were submitted to
Montefiore in 2012:
On April 16, 2012, Adams’s husband wrote a letter to Montefiore’s President,
Dr. Steven Safyer (the “Landscaping Letter”). (Id. ¶ 119.) The letter alleged
that Aguilar was harassing Adams because he refused to do landscaping for
Aguilar in 2005. (Id. ¶¶ 120-121.)
On November 1, 2012, Adams submitted a letter to Montefiore’s Human
Resources Department (the “November 1 Letter”) after having been told to
bring a union delegate to work. (Id. ¶ 124.) The letter alleged that Aguilar
had “subjected [Adams] to unfair treatment and harassment, frequent writeups without justification, physical assaults, threats of termination, set out to
‘build a file’ against her, encouraged other employees to write her up, and
called her ‘common.’” (Id. ¶ 125.) The November 1 Letter also attached a
copy of the Landscaping Letter. Aguilar has testified that she did not know
about the November 1 Letter until after Adams was terminated on November
5, 2012 (Defs.’ 56.1 Statement ¶ 128), and Adams does not specifically
controvert that testimony (Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶ 128 (denying paragraph 128 of
Defs.’ 56.1 Statement without citation or support)).
After she was terminated on November 5, 2012, Adams commenced the present
action, alleging three distinct violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the NYSHRL and the
NYCHRL: (1) that she was subjected to a hostile work environment on the basis of
her race and/or national origin; (2) that defendants retaliated against her by
terminating her employment; and (3) that defendants retaliated against her by
suspending her on November 1, 2012. (Compl. ¶¶ 56-73, ECF No. 1.) To
substantiate her hostile work environment claims, Adams has alleged that over the
course of her employment at Montefiore, Aguilar: (1) called her names; (2) pulled
her hair; (3) insulted her appearance; (4) accused her of “messing around” with male
colleagues; (5) prevented her from transferring to another floor; (6) made up stories
about her; and (7) prevented her from attending LPN school. (Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶
a. Summary Judgment
Summary judgment may be granted when a movant shows, based on
admissible evidence in the record, “that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(a). The moving party bears the burden of demonstrating “the absence of
a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court construes all evidence in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and draws all inferences and
resolves all ambiguities in its favor. Dickerson v. Napolitano, 604 F.3d 732, 740 (2d
Cir. 2010). The Court's role is to determine whether there are any triable issues of
material fact, not to weigh the evidence or resolve any factual disputes. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986).
b. Hostile Work Environment
1. § 1981 and NYSHRL
To prevail on a race-based hostile work environment claim under federal and
state law, Adams must show that: (1) “the harassment was ‘sufficiently severe or
pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive
working environment,’” and (2) “a specific basis exists for imputing the objectionable
conduct to the employer.” Alfano v. Costello, 294 F.3d 365, 373-74 (2d Cir. 2002)
(quoting Perry v. Ethan Allen, Inc., 115 F.3d 143, 149 (2d Cir. 1997)); see also
Alvarado v. Nordstrom, Inc., 685 F. App'x 4, 6 (2d Cir. 2017) (citations omitted)
(explaining that the same substantive standard applies to hostile work environment
claims brought under Title VII, § 1981, and the NYSHRL). Further, Adams must
show that the alleged harassment occurred because of her race and/or national
origin. See Alfano, 294 F.3d at 374 (citing Richardson v. New York State Dep't of
Corr. Serv., 180 F.3d 426, 440 (2d Cir. 1999), abrogated on other grounds by
Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. White, 548 U.S. 53 (2006)); Brown v.
Henderson, 257 F.3d 246, 252 (2d Cir. 2001) (“It is axiomatic that mistreatment at
work . . . through subjection to a hostile environment . . . is actionable . . . only when
it occurs because of an employee's . . . protected characteristic.”).
“The plaintiff must show that the workplace was so severely permeated with
discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that the terms and conditions of
her employment were thereby altered.” Alfano, 294 F.3d at 373-74. “The incidents
must be more than episodic; they must be sufficiently continuous and concerted in
order to be deemed pervasive.” Perry, 115 F.3d at 149 (citation and quotation
omitted). The misconduct shown must reach the level of an “objectively hostile or
abusive work environment” and the victim must “subjectively perceive the
environment to be abusive.” Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc., 510 U.S. 17, 21-22 (1993).
Pursuant to amendments enacted by the New York City Council in the Local
Civil Rights Restoration Act of 2005, and in order to effectuate the NYCHRL’s
“uniquely broad and remedial purposes,” Kaur v. N.Y.C. Health & Hosps. Corp., 688
F. Supp. 2d 317, 339 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), “courts must analyze NYCHRL claims
separately and independently from any federal and state law claims, construing the
NYCHRL's provisions broadly in favor of discrimination plaintiffs, to the extent
that such a construction is reasonably possible.” Mihalik v. Credit Agricole
Cheuvreux N. Am., Inc., 715 F.3d 102, 109 (2d Cir. 2013) (internal citations and
In order to prevail on a hostile work environment claim under the NYCHRL,
Adams must show that she was treated “less well than other employees” on the
basis of a protected characteristic. See Alvarado, 685 F. App'x at 8 (2d Cir. 2017)
(quoting Mihalik, 714 F.3d at 110). Although there is “no doubt that the standard
for proving a NYCHRL hostile work environment claim is lower than the standard
for proving Section 1981 and NYSHRL hostile work environment claims,” Alvarado,
685 F. App’x at 8, “[t]he plaintiff still bears the burden of showing that the conduct
is caused by a discriminatory motive,” and that she is “treated less well . . . because
of a discriminatory intent.” Mihalik, 715 F.3d at 110 (internal quotations omitted).
1. § 1981 and NYSHRL
Race-based retaliation claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the NYSHRL are
analyzed under the burden-shifting framework from McDonnell Douglas Corp. v.
Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). See Hicks v. Baines, 593 F.3d 159, 164 (2d Cir. 2010)
(explaining that retaliation claims under Title VII, Section 1981, and NYSHRL are
all “analyzed pursuant to Title VII principles”). Under that framework, plaintiff
bears the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case of retaliation by showing:
(1) “participation in a protected activity”; (2) “the defendant’s knowledge of the
protected activity”; (3) “an adverse employment action”; and (4) “a causal connection
between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.” Kwan v.
Andalex Grp. LLC, 737 F.3d 834, 844 (2d Cir. 2013) (internal quotations omitted).
This showing creates a “presumption of retaliation,” which the defendant may rebut
by “articulat[ing] a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for the adverse employment
action.” Chen v. City Univ. of N.Y., 805 F.3d 59, 70 (2d Cir. 2015) (quoting Jute v.
Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., 420 F.3d 166, 173 (2d Cir. 2005)). If the defendant
provides such an explanation, “the presumption of retaliation dissipates,” id., and
the plaintiff must prove “that the desire to retaliate was the but-for cause of the
challenged employment action.” Univ. of Texas Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, 133 S.Ct.
2517, 2528 (2013). “‘But-for’ causation does not require proof that retaliation was
the only cause of the employer's action, but only that the adverse action would not
have occurred in the absence of the retaliatory motive.” Kwan, 737 F.3d at 845-46
(citing Nassar, 133 S.Ct. at 2526, 2533).
As previously noted, employment discrimination claims under the NYCHRL
are to “be evaluated separately from counterpart claims” brought under federal and
state law. Kolenovic v. ABM Indus. Inc., 361 Fed. Appx. 246, 248 (2d Cir. 2010); see
also Mihalik, 715 F.3d at 109. To “prevail on a retaliation claim under NYCHRL,
the plaintiff must show that she took an action opposing her employer's
discrimination, and that, as a result, the employer engaged in conduct that was
reasonably likely to deter a person from engaging in such action.” Wolf v. Time
Warner, Inc., 548 Fed. Appx. 693, 696 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Mihalik, 715 F.3d at
112). Although the “but for” causation standard does not apply to retaliation claims
under the NYCHRL, see Mihalik, 715 F.3d at 116, a plaintiff still must establish
that “there was a causal connection between his protected activity and the
employer's subsequent action, and must show that a defendant's legitimate reason
for his termination was pretextual or ‘motivated at least in part by an
impermissible motive.’” Weber v. City of New York, 973 F. Supp. 2d 227, 273
(E.D.N.Y. 2013) (quoting Brightman v. Prison Health Serv., Inc., 970 N.Y.S.2d 789,
792 (2d Dep't 2013)).
For purposes of this decision, Adams’s claims are separated into two groups:
(1) the hostile work environment claims (Counts I-III); and (2) the retaliation claims
(Counts IV-IX). Each group will be discussed in turn.
a. The Hostile Work Environment Claims (Counts I-III)
1. § 1981 and NYSHRL
Counts II and III of Adams’s complaint allege that she was subjected to a
hostile work environment on the basis of her race in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981
and the NYSHRL. To prevail on those claims, Adams must show that she was
subject to “severe” and “pervasive” harassment because of her race and/or national
origin. See Alfano, 294 F.3d at 373-374 (citations omitted); Brown, 257 F.3d at 252.
Although Adams’ experience at Montefiore may have been unpleasant, there is no
evidence to suggest that she was harassed because of her race and/or national
origin. Other than the boilerplate language of the claims themselves, nothing in
plaintiff’s submissions tends to show that she was harassed because of her race
and/or national origin. In fact, Adams has conceded that Aguilar harassed her not
because of race, but because Adams’s husband refused to perform landscaping
services for Aguilar in 2005. (Defs.’ 56.1 Statement ¶ 118; Adams Dep. Tr. at 313315, ECF No. 40-1.)
In short, Adams has failed to create a triable issue of material fact that any
issues in her work environment occurred because of race and/or national-originbased animus. On this record, no reasonable juror could find that Adams was
subjected to a hostile work environment because of her race and/or national origin.
Accordingly, Counts II and III of Adams’s complaint must be DISMISSED.
Count I of Adams’s complaint, which alleges that Adams was subjected to a
hostile work environment in violation of the NYCHRL, fails for the same reason.
Although the standard for proving a race-based hostile work environment claim
under the NYCHRL is lower, Adams still needs to demonstrate that “the [allegedly
harassing] conduct is caused by a discriminatory motive.” See Mihalik, 715 F.3d at
110 (emphasis added).
Because Adams has failed to create a triable issue of material fact as to that
required nexus, Count I of her complaint must be DISMISSED.
a. The Retaliation Claims (Counts IV-IX)
1. § 1981 and NYSHRL
Counts IV, VI, VII, and IX of Adams’s complaint allege that she was
suspended2 and ultimately terminated in retaliation for raising complaints about
racial discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the NYSHRL. To prevail
on those race-based retaliation claims, Adams must demonstrate, inter alia, that
The parties dispute whether Adams was in fact suspended from work on November 1, 2012. The
Court need not address that factual dispute because Adams has failed to create a triable issue
regarding the underlying basis for any of defendants’ actions.
she “participat[ed] in a protected activity,” and that there was “a causal connection
between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.” Kwan, 737
F.3d at 844 (internal quotations omitted). Adams alleges that she was suspended
and ultimately terminated as a result of two letters that were submitted to
Montefiore: (1) the Landscaping Letter; and (2) the November 1 Letter. Plaintiff’s
claims do not survive summary judgment for at least three reasons.
First, it is clear that the Landscaping Letter cannot constitute protected
activity. Adams did not write the Landscaping Letter, and cannot succeed in
arguing that her husband’s letter constitutes her own protected activity. In any
event, the Landscaping Letter has no connection to race and/or national origin. It is
solely concerned with an alleged personal service dispute. (Defs.’ 56.1 Statement ¶
119-121.) Accordingly, Adams has failed to make a prima facie case of race-based
retaliation under McDonnell Douglas with regards to the Landscaping Letter.
Second, the Court concludes that Adams has failed to create a triable issue of
fact as to the required “causal connection” between plaintiff’s November 1 Letter
and any adverse employment action. Adams has conceded that she was instructed
to bring a union delegate to work on the morning of November 1, 2012 (Adams Dep.
Tr. at 210), and that she only submitted the November 1 Letter to Montefiore after
the meeting was canceled and rescheduled for November 5, 2012 (Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶
108). Even accepting as true that the November 1 Letter was drafted earlier, the
undisputed facts demonstrate that Adams only submitted the letter in response to
an already scheduled meeting and impending adverse employment decision. Under
the circumstances, without more, there is no basis to infer that the purport or
agenda of the meeting was altered in any way because of the letter. Indeed, the
uncontroverted facts demonstrate that defendants decided to terminate Adams on
August 30, 2012, well before Adams submitted the November 1 Letter. (Defs.’ 56.1
Statement ¶¶ 83, 85-86.)
Even assuming arguendo that the November 1 Letter constitutes “protected
activity,” it would be impossible for any juror to find that there was a “causal
connection” between that letter and Adams’s termination. Finally, the
uncontroverted facts demonstrate that Aguilar was not aware of the November 1
Letter until after Adams was terminated on November 5, 2012. (Defs.’ 56.1
Statement ¶ 127-28.) Accordingly, no reasonable juror could find that the
November 1 Letter played any role in Aguilar’s decision to take Adams off the
payroll from November 1-2, 2012, regardless of whether that constitutes a
“suspension”. As such, Adams has failed to make a prima facie case of race-based
retaliation under McDonnell Douglas with regards to the November 1 Letter.
Third, even assuming that Adams has succeeded made a prima facie case,
she has failed to create a triable fact as to whether defendants’ “desire to retaliate
was the but-for cause of the challenged employment action.” See Nassar, 133 S.Ct
at 2528. Defendants have proffered a “legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for the
adverse employment action[s],” namely, the June 16 Warning, the February 1
Warning, the March 30 Suspension, and the July 6 Report, none of which had
anything to do with Adams’s race and/or national origin. In fact, all four of those
events were explicitly referenced in the termination letter given to Adams on
November 5, 2012. (Pl.’s 56.1 Resp. ¶ 111-12.) Adams has not produced any
evidence tending to show that those reasons were pretextual, and has certainly not
produced evidence tending to show that her race and/or national origin was
nonetheless the “but-for cause” of her suspension or termination.
For the reasons described above, Counts IV, VI, VII, and IX of Adams’s
complaint must be DISMISSED.
Counts V and VIII of Adams’s complaint, which allege that she was
suspended and ultimately terminated in retaliation for raising complaints about
racial discrimination in violation of the NYCHRL, fail for substantially the same
reasons. To prevail on a retaliation claim under the NYCHRL, Adams must show
that “she took an action opposing her employer’s discrimination, and that, as a
result, the employer engaged in conduct that was reasonably likely to deter a person
from engaging in such action.” Wolf, 548 Fed. Appx. at 696 (quotation omitted).
Further, Adams must show that there was a “causal connection” between the
protected activity and the adverse employment action, and that the employer’s
proffered reason was “pretextual or ‘motivated at least in part by an impermissible
motive.’” Weber, 973 F. Supp. 2d at 273.
As discussed infra, Adams has failed to create a triable issue regarding the
causal connection between the Landscaping Letter and any of defendants’ adverse
employment actions. Further, Adams has failed to create a triable issue regarding
the causal connection between the November 1 Letter and defendants’ decision to
suspend or terminate her employment. Finally, Adams has failed to create a triable
issue as to whether the defendants’ proffered reasons for taking adverse
employment actions (e.g., the June 16 Warning, the February 1 Warning, and the
March 30 Suspension) were pretextual or partly motivated by racial discrimination.
Accordingly, Counts V and VIII of Adams’s complaint must be DISMISSED.
For the foregoing reasons, defendants’ motion for summary judgment at ECF
No. 37 is GRANTED in its entirety.
The Clerk of Court is directed to close any open motions and to terminate this
New York, New York
October 3, 2017
KATHERINE B. FORREST
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?