AlSariaa v. Tempositions, Inc.

Filing 6

ORDER TO AMEND: Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint that complies with the standards set forth above. Plaintiff must submit the amended complaint to this Court's Pro Se Intake Unit within sixty days of the date of this o rder, caption the document as an "Amended Complaint," and label the document with docket number 24-CV-2451 (LTS). An Amended Complaint for Employment Discrimination form is attached to this order. No summons will issue at this time. If Pla intiff fails to comply within the time allowed, and she cannot show good cause to excuse such failure, the complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Court certifies under 28 U.S.C. § 1915( a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore IFP status is denied for the purpose of an appeal. Cf. Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962) (holding that an appellant demonstrates good faith when he seeks review of a nonfrivolous issue). SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Laura Taylor Swain on 7/8/2024) (ks)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK NOORA DHAFIR ALSARIAA, Plaintiff, 24-CV-2451 (LTS) -againstTEMPOSITIONS, INC. “SCHOOL PROFESSIONALS,” ORDER TO AMEND Defendant. LAURA TAYLOR SWAIN, Chief United States District Judge: Plaintiff Noora Dhafir AlSariaa, who is proceeding pro se, brings this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against TemPositions, Inc. “School Professionals” (“TemPositions”), a temporary employment agency, asserting that the company discriminated against her because of her national origin. By order dated April 2, 2024, the Court granted Plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”), that is, without prepayment of fees. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint within 60 days of the date of this order. STANDARD OF REVIEW The Court must dismiss an IFP complaint, or any portion of the complaint, that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see Livingston v. Adirondack Beverage Co., 141 F.3d 434, 437 (2d Cir. 1998). The Court must also dismiss a complaint when the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction of the claims raised. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). While the law mandates dismissal on any of these grounds, the Court is obliged to construe pro se pleadings liberally, Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009), and interpret them to raise the “strongest [claims] that they suggest,” Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted) (emphasis in original). But the “special solicitude” in pro se cases, id. at 475 (citation omitted), has its limits – to state a claim, pro se pleadings still must comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires a complaint to make a short and plain statement showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. Rule 8 requires a complaint to include enough facts to state a claim for relief “that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially plausible if the plaintiff pleads enough factual detail to allow the Court to draw the inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. In reviewing the complaint, the Court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). But it does not have to accept as true “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action,” which are essentially just legal conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. After separating legal conclusions from well-pleaded factual allegations, the Court must determine whether those facts make it plausible – not merely possible – that the pleader is entitled to relief. Id. BACKGROUND Plaintiff brings this action using a court-issued employment discrimination complaint form. The following facts are taken from the complaint and the attachments to the complaint. 1 On July 12, 2023, Defendant TemPositions informed Plaintiff that it secured a temporary position for Plaintiff at New York Junior for Tennis & Learning (“NYJTL”), a summer program located at a New York City public school in Brooklyn, New York, to commence on July 13, 1 The Court quotes from the complaint verbatim. All spelling, grammar, and punctuation are as in the original. 2 2023. (See ECF 1, at 24.) Plaintiff started working at NYJTL, but on July 26, 2023, at 3:00 p.m., Plaintiff “was fired . . . before the end of the assignment day after I complained about discrimination and hostil[e] against based on my national origin by school staff in cooperat[ion] with third party led to children abuse.” (Id.) Two days later, on July 28, 2023, “the defendant suspended my teaching contract and I lost my only income.” (Id. at 5.) “TemPositions broke the agreement between me and them which stated if one school complained and terminated your assig[n]ment, you continue with different schools.” (Id.) Plaintiff asserts that TemPositions did not “investigate the reason w[hy] NYJTL-S 215” terminated her assignment and “[i]nstead of standing with me, the defendant gave me a long phone call[] over 1.5 hour and half justify NYJTL action.” (Id.) Plaintiff further asserts that Defendant retaliated against her, harassed her and/or created a hostile work environment, and suspended her contract. She seeks money damages, including “[c]ompensation for security threat I faced because the defenda[nt] cooperated with third party which cause me anxiety and life threat.” (Id. at 6.) DISCUSSION Title VII provides that “[i]t shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer . . . to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” 2 42 U.S.C. § 2000e2(a). This discrimination includes “‘not only overt discrimination but also practices that are fair 2 Plaintiff sues a temporary employment agency, which might be considered an employer under Title VII, pursuant to the “joint employer doctrine.” “The joint employer doctrine has been applied to temporary employment or staffing agencies and their client entities[.]” Lima v. Addeco, 634 F. Supp.2d 394, 400 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). At this stage, the Court declines to decide whether TemPositions may be considered Plaintiff’s employer under this doctrine. 3 in form, but discriminatory in operation’ – that is, practices that have a ‘disparate impact’” on members of a class of people protected by the statute. Mandala v. NTT Data, Inc., 975 F.3d 202, 207 (2d Cir. 2020) (quoting Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 431 (1971)). Title VII also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who has opposed any practice made unlawful by those statutes, or who has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the statutes. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a). These antidiscrimination provisions prohibit employers from mistreating an individual because of the individual’s protected characteristics, Patane v. Clark, 508 F.3d 106, 112 (2d Cir. 2007), or retaliating against an employee who has opposed any practice made unlawful by that statute, see Crawford v. Metro. Gov’t, 555 U.S. 271, 276 (2009) (holding that conduct is protected when it “confront[s],” “resist[s],” or “withstand[s]” unlawful actions). Mistreatment at work that occurs for a reason other than an employee’s protected characteristic or opposition to unlawful conduct is not actionable under Title VII. See Chukwuka v. City of New York, 513 F. App’x 34, 36 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Brown v. Henderson, 257 F.3d 246, 252 (2d Cir. 2001)). At the pleading stage in a Title VII employment discrimination action, “a plaintiff must plausibly allege that (1) the employer took adverse employment action against him, and (2) his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was a motivating factor in the employment decision.” Vega v. Hempstead Union Free Sch. Dist., 801 F.3d 72, 86 (2d Cir. 2015). The plaintiff “may do so by alleging facts that directly show discrimination or facts that indirectly show discrimination by giving rise to a plausible inference of discrimination.” Id. at 87. Still, the plaintiff need only provide “minimal support for the proposition that the [defendant] was motivated by discriminatory intent.” Id. at 85 (quotation marks omitted). “In making the plausibility 4 determination, the court must be mindful of the ‘elusive’ nature of intentional discrimination.” Id. at 86 (citation omitted). Plaintiff’s complaint does not state a claim under Title VII because she does not state facts suggesting that Defendant considered her national origin when suspending Plaintiff’s contract agreement, or that Defendant retaliated against her for opposing discriminatory employment practices. Rather, Plaintiff’s allegations refer to her national origin and retaliatory conduct, but do not connect any illegal employment practice to TemPositions. For example, Plaintiff’s allegations include the following: (1) TemPositions hired her on July 12, 2023, to commence work at NYJTL on July 13, 2023; (2) NYJTL terminated her assignment on July 26, 2023, after Plaintiff complained about discrimination at NYJTL; and (3) TemPositions suspended her contract two days later, without investigating the reasons for NYJTL’s termination of Plaintiff’s assignment. These allegations do not suggest that TemPositions was aware of Plaintiff’s national origin, or her alleged opposition to discriminatory practices, and then based its decision to suspend her contract on either of these factors. The Court therefore grants Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint to plead facts in support of her Title VII claims. To support her claim that TemPositions considered her national origin and/or her opposition to discriminatory practices when suspending its agreement with her, she should include the following information: (1) her national origin; (2) facts showing that TemPositions was aware of her national origin and considered it when suspending her agreement; (3) the discriminatory practices she opposed; and (4) facts showing that TemPositions was aware of her opposition and considered her opposition when suspending her agreement. LEAVE TO AMEND Plaintiff proceeds in this matter without the benefit of an attorney. District courts generally should grant a self-represented plaintiff an opportunity to amend a complaint to cure its 5 defects, unless amendment would be futile. See Hill v. Curcione, 657 F.3d 116, 123-24 (2d Cir. 2011); Salahuddin v. Cuomo, 861 F.2d 40, 42 (2d Cir. 1988). Indeed, the Second Circuit has cautioned that district courts “should not dismiss [a pro se complaint] without granting leave to amend at least once when a liberal reading of the complaint gives any indication that a valid claim might be stated.” Cuoco v. Moritsugu, 222 F.3d 99, 112 (2d Cir. 2000) (quoting Gomez v. USAA Fed. Sav. Bank, 171 F.3d 794, 795 (2d Cir. 1999)). Because Plaintiff may be able to allege additional facts to state valid Title VII claims, the Court grants Plaintiff 60 days’ leave to amend her complaint to detail her claims. In the “Statement of Claim” section of the amended complaint form, Plaintiff must provide a short and plain statement of the relevant facts supporting each claim against each defendant. If Plaintiff has an address for any named defendant, Plaintiff must provide it. Plaintiff should include all of the information in the amended complaint that Plaintiff wants the Court to consider in deciding whether the amended complaint states a claim for relief. That information should include: a) the names and titles of all relevant people; b) a description of all relevant events, including what each defendant did or failed to do, the approximate date and time of each event, and the general location where each event occurred; c) a description of the injuries Plaintiff suffered; and d) the relief Plaintiff seeks, such as money damages, injunctive relief, or declaratory relief. Essentially, Plaintiff’s amended complaint should tell the Court: who violated her federally protected rights and how; when and where such violations occurred; and why Plaintiff is entitled to relief. 6 Because Plaintiff’s amended complaint will completely replace, not supplement, the original complaint, any facts or claims that Plaintiff wants to include from the original complaint must be repeated in the amended complaint. CONCLUSION Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint that complies with the standards set forth above. Plaintiff must submit the amended complaint to this Court’s Pro Se Intake Unit within sixty days of the date of this order, caption the document as an “Amended Complaint,” and label the document with docket number 24-CV-2451 (LTS). An Amended Complaint for Employment Discrimination form is attached to this order. No summons will issue at this time. If Plaintiff fails to comply within the time allowed, and she cannot show good cause to excuse such failure, the complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Court certifies under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore IFP status is denied for the purpose of an appeal. Cf. Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962) (holding that an appellant demonstrates good faith when he seeks review of a nonfrivolous issue). SO ORDERED. Dated: July 8, 2024 New York, New York /s/ Laura Taylor Swain LAURA TAYLOR SWAIN Chief United States District Judge 7 U NITED S TATES D ISTRICT C OURT S OUTHERN D ISTRICT OF N EW Y ORK _____CV_______________ Write the full name of each plaintiff. (Include case number if one has been assigned) -against- Do you want a jury trial? ‫ ܆‬Yes ‫ ܆‬No Write the full name of each defendant. The names listed above must be identical to those contained in Section I. EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT NOTICE The public can access electronic court files. For privacy and security reasons, papers filed with the court should therefore not contain: an individual’s full social security number or full birth date; the full name of a person known to be a minor; or a complete financial account number. A filing may include only: the last four digits of a social security number; the year of an individual’s birth; a minor’s initials; and the last four digits of a financial account number. See Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2. Rev. 3/24/17 I. PARTIES A. Plaintiff Information Provide the following information for each plaintiff named in the complaint. Attach additional pages if needed. First Name Middle Initial Last Name Street Address County, City State Zip Code Telephone Number Email Address (if available) B. Defendant Information To the best of your ability, provide addresses where each defendant may be served. If the correct information is not provided, it could delay or prevent service of the complaint on the defendant. Make sure that the defendants listed below are the same as those listed in the caption. (Proper defendants under employment discrimination statutes are usually employers, labor organizations, or employment agencies.) Attach additional pages if needed. Defendant 1: Name Address where defendant may be served County, City State Zip Code Defendant 2: Name Address where defendant may be served County, City State Zip Code Page 2 Defendant 3: Name Address where defendant may be served County, City II. State Zip Code PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT The address at which I was employed or sought employment by the defendant(s) is: Name Address County, City III. State Zip Code CAUSE OF ACTION A. Federal Claims This employment discrimination lawsuit is brought under (check only the options below that apply in your case): ‫ ܆‬Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17, for employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin The defendant discriminated against me because of my (check only those that apply and explain): ‫ ܆‬race: ‫ ܆‬color: ‫ ܆‬religion: ‫ ܆‬sex: ‫ ܆‬national origin: Page 3 ‫ ܆‬42 U.S.C. § 1981, for intentional employment discrimination on the basis of race My race is: ‫ ܆‬Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 to 634, for employment discrimination on the basis of age (40 or older) I was born in the year: ‫ ܆‬Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §§ 701 to 796, for employment discrimination on the basis of a disability by an employer that constitutes a program or activity receiving federal financial assistance My disability or perceived disability is: ‫ ܆‬Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 to 12213, for employment discrimination on the basis of a disability My disability or perceived disability is: ‫ ܆‬Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 to 2654, for employment discrimination on the basis of leave for qualified medical or family reasons B. Other Claims In addition to my federal claims listed above, I assert claims under: ‫ ܆‬New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law §§ 290 to 297, for employment discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status ‫ ܆‬New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 8-101 to 131, for employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, citizenship status ‫ ܆‬Other (may include other relevant federal, state, city, or county law):  Page 4 IV. STATEMENT OF CLAIM A. Adverse Employment Action The defendant or defendants in this case took the following adverse employment actions against me (check only those that apply): ‫ ܆‬did not hire me ‫ ܆‬terminated my employment ‫ ܆‬did not promote me ‫ ܆‬did not accommodate my disability ‫ ܆‬provided me with terms and conditions of employment different from those of similar employees ‫ ܆‬retaliated against me ‫ ܆‬harassed me or created a hostile work environment ‫ ܆‬other (specify):  B. Facts State here the facts that support your claim. Attach additional pages if needed. You should explain what actions defendants took (or failed to take) because of your protected characteristic, such as your race, disability, age, or religion. Include times and locations, if possible. State whether defendants are continuing to commit these acts against you. As additional support for your claim, you may attach any charge of discrimination that you filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, or any other government agency. Page 5 V. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES For most claims under the federal employment discrimination statutes, before filing a lawsuit, you must first file a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and receive a Notice of Right to Sue. Did you file a charge of discrimination against the defendant(s) with the EEOC or any other government agency? ‫ ܆‬Yes (Please attach a copy of the charge to this complaint.) When did you file your charge? ‫ ܆‬No Have you received a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC? ‫ ܆‬Yes (Please attach a copy of the Notice of Right to Sue.) What is the date on the Notice? When did you receive the Notice? ‫ ܆‬No VI. RELIEF The relief I want the court to order is (check only those that apply): ‫ ܆‬direct the defendant to hire me ‫ ܆‬direct the defendant to re-employ me ‫ ܆‬direct the defendant to promote me ‫ ܆‬direct the defendant to reasonably accommodate my religion ‫ ܆‬direct the defendant to reasonably accommodate my disability ‫ ܆‬direct the defendant to (specify) (if you believe you are entitled to money damages, explain that here) Page 6 VII. PLAINTIFF’S CERTIFICATION By signing below, I certify to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief that: (1) the complaint is not being presented for an improper purpose (such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation); (2) the claims are supported by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument to change existing law; (3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and (4) the complaint otherwise complies with the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. I agree to notify the Clerk's Office in writing of any changes to my mailing address. I understand that my failure to keep a current address on file with the Clerk's Office may result in the dismissal of my case. Each Plaintiff must sign and date the complaint. Attach additional pages if necessary. If seeking to proceed without prepayment of fees, each plaintiff must also submit an IFP application. Dated Plaintiff’s Signature First Name Middle Initial Last Name Street Address County, City Telephone Number State Zip Code Email Address (if available) I have read the attached Pro Se (Nonprisoner) Consent to Receive Documents Electronically: ‫ ܆‬Yes ‫ ܆‬No If you do consent to receive documents electronically, submit the completed form with your complaint. If you do not consent, please do not attach the form. Page 7 United States District Court Southern District of New York Pro Se (Nonprisoner) Consent to Receive Documents Electronically Parties who are not represented by an attorney and are not currently incarcerated may choose to receive documents in their cases electronically (by e-mail) instead of by regular mail. Receiving documents by regular mail is still an option, but if you would rather receive them only electronically, you must do the following: 1. Sign up for a PACER login and password by contacting PACER 1 at www.pacer.uscourts.gov or 1-800-676-6856; 2. Complete and sign this form. If you consent to receive documents electronically, you will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing by e-mail each time a document is filed in your case. After receiving the notice, you are permitted one “free look” at the document by clicking on the hyperlinked document number in the e-mail. 2 Once you click the hyperlink and access the document, you may not be able to access the document for free again. After 15 days, the hyperlink will no longer provide free access. Any time that the hyperlink is accessed after the first “free look” or the 15 days, you will be asked for a PACER login and may be charged to view the document. For this reason, you should print or save the document during the “free look” to avoid future charges. IMPORTANT NOTICE Under Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Local Civil Rule 5.2, and the Court’s Electronic Case Filing Rules & Instructions, documents may be served by electronic means. If you register for electronic service: 1. You will no longer receive documents in the mail; 2. If you do not view and download your documents during your “free look” and within 15 days of when the court sends the e-mail notice, you will be charged for looking at the documents; 3. This service does not allow you to electronically file your documents; 4. It will be your duty to regularly review the docket sheet of the case. 3 Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) (www.pacer.uscourts.gov) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator over the internet. 1 You must review the Court’s actual order, decree, or judgment and not rely on the description in the email notice alone. See ECF Rule 4.3 2 The docket sheet is the official record of all filings in a case. You can view the docket sheet, including images of electronically filed documents, using PACER or you can use one of the public access computers available in the Clerk’s Office at the Court. 3 500 PEARL STREET | NEW YORK, NY 10007 300 QUARROPAS STREET | WHITE PLAINS, NY 10601 PRO SE INTAKE UNIT: 212-805-0175 rev. 2/9/15 CONSENT TO ELECTRONIC SERVICE I hereby consent to receive electronic service of notices and documents in my case(s) listed below. I affirm that: 1. I have regular access to my e-mail account and to the internet and will check regularly for Notices of Electronic Filing; 2. I have established a PACER account; 3. I understand that electronic service is service under Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 5.2 of the Local Civil Rules, and that I will no longer receive paper copies of case filings, including motions, decisions, orders, and other documents; 4. I will promptly notify the Court if there is any change in my personal data, such as name, address, or e-mail address, or if I wish to cancel this consent to electronic service; 5. I understand that I must regularly review the docket sheet of my case so that I do not miss a filing; and 6. I understand that this consent applies only to the cases listed below and that if I file additional cases in which I would like to receive electronic service of notices of documents, I must file consent forms for those cases. Civil case(s) filed in the Southern District of New York: Note: This consent will apply to all cases that you have filed in this court, so please list all of your pending and terminated cases. For each case, include the case name and docket number (for example, John Doe v. New City, 10-CV-01234). Name (Last, First, MI) Address City State Telephone Number E-mail Address Date Signature Return completed form to: Pro Se Intake Unit (Room 200) 500 Pearl Street New York, NY 10007 Zip Code

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