Campbell v. N.Y.C. Transit Auth., No. 11–CV–2827 MKB.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
Writing for the CourtMARGO K. BRODIE, District Judge
Citation93 F.Supp.3d 148
PartiesCollette CAMPBELL, Plaintiff, v. NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Defendant.
Decision Date26 March 2015
Docket NumberNo. 11–CV–2827 MKB.

93 F.Supp.3d 148

Collette CAMPBELL, Plaintiff
v.
NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Defendant.

No. 11–CV–2827 MKB.

United States District Court, E.D. New York.

Signed March 26, 2015.


93 F.Supp.3d 154

Collette Campbell, Bay Shore, NY, pro se.

Mitchell John Paluszek, Robert Kenneth Drinan, Brooklyn, NY, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

MARGO K. BRODIE, District Judge:

Plaintiff Collette Campbell, currently proceeding pro se, brings the above-captioned action against the New York City

93 F.Supp.3d 155

Transit Authority, alleging claims of gender discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, retaliation and creation of a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (“Title VII”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Plaintiff also brings claims for “institutional discrimination” and “institutional retaliation,” premised on gender, age, and disability. Defendant moves for summary judgment on all claims.1 The Court heard oral argument on March 11, 2015. For the reasons discussed below, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.

I. Background

a. The parties

The New York City Transit Authority (“Transit Authority” or “Defendant”) is a public authority in New York City which operates public transportation systems, including the New York City subways and buses and the Staten Island Railway.

Plaintiff, born in 1956, was employed with the Transit Authority from October 1983 through August 2011. (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 25, 28; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 25, 28; Pl. Aff. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff began working for Defendant as a railroad clerk, which involved working in a token booth and selling tokens for access to the New York City subway system. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 26; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 26.) Plaintiff was eventually promoted to supervisor of stations as a Station Supervisor Level I, or “Level I Supervisor.” (Def. 56.1 ¶ 27; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 27.) Generally, a Level I Supervisor, amongst other things, supervises staff in customer service, operation of station controls, and the cleaning of stations. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 29; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 29.) Plaintiff was subsequently reassigned to a Station Supervisor Level II, or “Level II Supervisor,” position. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 27; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 27.)

As a Level II Supervisor, Plaintiff's responsibilities included supervising Level I Supervisors and employees charged with cleaning subway stations, known as “cleaners.” (Def. 56.1 ¶ 6; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 6.) Level II Supervisors are also expected to conduct inspections of station and station equipment, supervise and assign station personnel, and “conduct[ ] investigations.” (Def. 56.1 ¶ 29; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 29.) Part of Plaintiff's job was to ensure that cleaners properly performed their duties, and to ensure that station personnel followed the rules and regulations. (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 31–33; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 31–33.) Plaintiff believed that she had the authority to initiate disciplinary procedures, or to take other appropriate action, against her subordinates if they violated rules and regulations or engaged in misconduct. (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 35, 38; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 35, 38.) Disciplinary procedures she employed included verbal instructions or reinstruction. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 36; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 36.) Plaintiff would also investigate potential misconduct and obtain written statements from complainants or any witnesses to the misconduct on pre-printed Transit Authority statement forms, known

93 F.Supp.3d 156

as “Correspondence Sheets” or “G–2” forms. (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 39–40; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 39–40.) Later in the disciplinary process, matters were occasionally referred to neutral arbitrators, who resolved disciplinary charges against cleaners. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 43; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 43.)

As a Level II Supervisor, Plaintiff was represented, for the purposes of collective bargaining and disciplinary proceedings, by Local 106 of the Transport Workers Union, which was also known as the Transit Supervisors' Organization (“TSO”). (Def. 56.1 ¶ 30; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 30.) Cleaners, Plaintiff's supervisees, were represented by Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 44; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 44.) This is a different union than that which represented Plaintiff. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 44; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 44.) Each of the unions was subject to a different collective bargaining agreement, but both agreements contained disciplinary procedures. (Aff. of Cynthia Davis ¶ 3 (“C. Davis Aff.”), Docket Entry No. 79.)2

Jimmy Davenport, who is not a party to this action, was a cleaner employed by Defendant. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 8; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 8.)

b. March 2009 reporting location and Davenport comment

In March of 2009, Plaintiff was able to choose a new “preference” for her position, meaning she could select a new reporting location, a “tour” (or regular shift), and a regular work scheduling, consisting of five consecutive work days and two consecutive days off (“regular days off”). (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 45–48; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 45–48.) Plaintiff selected the Utica Avenue Station on the A line (“Utica Station”) as her reporting location, which was different from her previous location. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 48; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 48.) Plaintiff's “tour” was 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, and her regular days off were Friday and Saturday. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 49; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 49.) At Utica Station, Plaintiff ensured that the cleaners she supervised reported for duty in uniform, and had their pass, badge and ID each day. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 50; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 50.) When cleaners arrived at the beginning of their shifts, which corresponded to the beginning of Plaintiff's shift, they reported to Plaintiff's office, where she would perform a “uniform inspection,” checking that each cleaner was in uniform and possessed the proper credentials. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 51; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 51.) She would also require each cleaner to sign in on a sheet. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 51; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 51.) After the uniform inspection and sign-in, the cleaners would wait in the lunchroom while Plaintiff cross-referenced the sign-in sheet with her “coverage sheet,” which listed the names of cleaners scheduled to work that evening, and recorded station assignments. (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 52–54; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 52–54.) This process took approximately fifteen minutes. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 54; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 54.) After Plaintiff checked that all scheduled employees were present, Plaintiff would convene a meeting to advise the cleaners of their work assignments for the shift. (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 52–56; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 52–56.) Plaintiff would also read a “safety tip of the day.” (Def. 56.1 ¶ 56; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 56.) Plaintiff's predecessor at Utica Station typically held a similar meeting in the

93 F.Supp.3d 157

lunchroom, approximately twenty-five feet from Plaintiff's office, but Plaintiff found the lunchroom distracting because it often had a television playing and sometimes employees would play chess during the shift turnover. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 57; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 57.) Other departments at Utica Station shared the lunchroom during that time of the evening. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 60; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 60.)

After Plaintiff began working at Utica Station in March 2009, several cleaners, including Davenport, complained about Plaintiff's regular uniform inspection. (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 63–64; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 63–64.) To address the complaints, Superintendent Justin Hyppolyte held a meeting with Plaintiff and the cleaners to clarify the rules and regulations for everyone.3 (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 65–66; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 65–66.) At the meeting, Davenport stood up in front of everyone and asked why Plaintiff supervised “like that” and suggested her supervision style was why she had gray hair. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 67; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 67.) Plaintiff could not recall if Hyppolyte was present to hear the remark. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 68; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 68.) Following the meeting, Hyppolyte did not instruct Plaintiff to change her procedures in any way. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 70; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 70.)

c. August 6, 2009 incident

On August 6, 2009, Plaintiff was still employed as a Level II Supervisor at Utica Station. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 6; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 6.) That day, Plaintiff's tour of duty was her regular 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 7; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 7.) Around 10:00 PM, Plaintiff was in her office when Davenport reported for duty. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 78; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 78.) Plaintiff checked the “coverage sheet” and noted that Davenport was on “comp status,” meaning he was not scheduled for work that evening and was not cleared to work. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 79; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 72, 79.) Plaintiff informed Davenport that he had clearance to resume work on August 7, 2009, not August 6, 2009. He left her office before she could clarify with other Transit Authority officials whether he could work the shift beginning that evening, August 6, 2009.4 (Def. 56.1 ¶¶ 80–82; Pl. 56.1 ¶¶ 80–82.) Plaintiff initially assumed that Davenport had left Utica Station. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 82; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 82.)

Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff went to the lunchroom to look for another cleaner, and saw Davenport in the lunchroom. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 86; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 86.) Plaintiff instructed Davenport to leave the premises, as he was not authorized to work. (Def. 56.1...

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35 practice notes
  • Horsham v. Fresh Direct, No. 14–CV–651 (MKB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 28, 2015
    ...in original) (quoting Galabya v. N.Y.C. Bd. of Educ., 202 F.3d 636, 640 (2d Cir.2000) )); cf. Campbell v. N.Y.C. Transit Auth., 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 170 (E.D.N.Y.2015) ("Plaintiff cannot show that the failure to investigate Davenport's claim against her affected any of her tangible job benefit......
  • Ehrbar v. Forest Hills Hosp., No. 13–CV–1761 (MKB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 22, 2015
    ...a rational finder of fact to infer a retaliatory motive. See Zann Kwan, 737 F.3d at 844 ; Campbell v. New York City Transit Auth., 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 174, 2015 WL 1349820, at *16 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 26, 2015) (citing Zann Kwan, 737 F.3d at 844 ).Defendants do not dispute that Plaintiff has satisf......
  • Offor v. Mercy Med. Ctr., 15-cv-2219 (ADS)(SIL)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • March 10, 2016
    ...motion to dismiss.’ ”) (quoting Doe v. Columbia Univ., 101 F.Supp.3d 356, 366 (S.D.N.Y.2015) ); Campbell v. New York City Transit Auth., 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 173 (E.D.N.Y.2015) (“ ‘In the absence of any circumstantial evidence of discriminatory animus other than the differential treatment, the......
  • Harris v. Bd. of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of N.Y., 16–CV–3809
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • February 2, 2017
    ...in any discipline may be sufficient constitute an adverse action in the retaliation context." Campbell v. New York City Transit Auth. , 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 177 n.30 (E.D.N.Y. 2015), motion for relief from judgment denied , No. 11–CV–2827, 2015 WL 7455842 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 23, 2015), and aff'd , ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • Horsham v. Fresh Direct, No. 14–CV–651 (MKB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 28, 2015
    ...in original) (quoting Galabya v. N.Y.C. Bd. of Educ., 202 F.3d 636, 640 (2d Cir.2000) )); cf. Campbell v. N.Y.C. Transit Auth., 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 170 (E.D.N.Y.2015) ("Plaintiff cannot show that the failure to investigate Davenport's claim against her affected any of her tangible job be......
  • Ehrbar v. Forest Hills Hosp., No. 13–CV–1761 (MKB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 22, 2015
    ...a rational finder of fact to infer a retaliatory motive. See Zann Kwan, 737 F.3d at 844 ; Campbell v. New York City Transit Auth., 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 174, 2015 WL 1349820, at *16 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 26, 2015) (citing Zann Kwan, 737 F.3d at 844 ).Defendants do not dispute that Plaintiff has satisf......
  • Offor v. Mercy Med. Ctr., 15-cv-2219 (ADS)(SIL)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • March 10, 2016
    ...motion to dismiss.’ ”) (quoting Doe v. Columbia Univ., 101 F.Supp.3d 356, 366 (S.D.N.Y.2015) ); Campbell v. New York City Transit Auth., 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 173 (E.D.N.Y.2015) (“ ‘In the absence of any circumstantial evidence of discriminatory animus other than the differential treatment, the......
  • Harris v. Bd. of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of N.Y., 16–CV–3809
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • February 2, 2017
    ...discipline may be sufficient constitute an adverse action in the retaliation context." Campbell v. New York City Transit Auth. , 93 F.Supp.3d 148, 177 n.30 (E.D.N.Y. 2015), motion for relief from judgment denied , No. 11–CV–2827, 2015 WL 7455842 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 23, 2015), and aff'd , No......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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