Case 1:17-cv-03703 Document 2 Filed 05/18/17 Page 1 of 21

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
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JOHN (a/k/a JACK) MOUNTFORD Civil Action No.

Plaintiff,

V. COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Demands a
a Jury Trial

BUDDAKAN, NY; STARR RESTAURANT ORGANIZATION,LP; STARR
RESTAURANT ORGANIZATION, GP,LLC; STARR RESTAURANT CATERING
GROUP,LP; STARR RESTAURANTS CATERING GROUP, GP,LLC; STARR
RESTAURANTS HOTEL GROUP,LP; STARR RESTAURANT HOTEL GROUP
GP,LLC; HARBOUR RESTAURANT PARTNERS, LLC; STARR RESTAURANT
GROUP PARTNERS GP, LLC; COMMERCE RESTAURANT PARTNERS, LLC,

Defendants.
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Plaintiff John (Jack) Mountford (hereinafter referred to as “Plaintiff”, by and through

their attorneys, the DEREK SMITH LAW GROUP, PLLC, hereby complains of

Defendants’ Buddakan, NY;Starr Restaurant Organization, GP, LLC; Starr Restaurant

Catering Group,LP; Starr Restaurants Catering Group, GP, LLC; Starr Restaurants Hotel

Group, LP; Starr Restaurant Hotel Group GP, LLC; Harbour Restaurant Partners, LLC;

Starr Restaurant Group Partners GP, LLC; Starr Restaurant Group Partners. L.P.; Starr

Restaurant Group, LLC; Commerce Restaurant Partners, LLC (collectively referred to as

“Buddakan”), upon information and belief, as follows:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1. Plaintiff complains pursuant to Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)

complains further to remedy violations of the laws of the State of New York, and to remedy

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violations of the New York City Human Rights Law Administrative Code based upon

federal question and the supplemental jurisdiction of this Court, seeking relief and damages

to redress the injuries Plaintiff has suffered as a result of being discriminated against,

retaliated against, and unlawfully terminated by his former employer on the basis of

disability discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation and unlawful termination.

2. Jurisdiction of this Court is proper under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3), and 28 U.S.C. §§

1331 and 1343.

3.This action is properly brought in Federal Court in that it involves a question of federal

law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

4. The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the claims of Plaintiff brought under state

law and city law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

5. Venue is proper in the Southern District of New York under 28 U.S.C. 1391 (b) (1)-

(2) because a civil action may be brought in a judicial district in which any defendant

resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located and

because a civil action may be brought in a judicial district in which a substantial part

of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred. Here, Defendants operate

a restaurant and do business within the Southern District at 75 9th Ave, New York,

NY 10011 where the events pertaining to this action occurred.

JURY DEMAND

6. Plaintiff demands a trial by jury.

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

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7. Plaintiff brings this action against the Defendants under Title VII, the New York State

Executive Law, the New York City Administrative Code and all other applicable

statutory and common law of the State of New York, for the egregious, unlawful and

discriminatory conduct of the Defendants against the Plaintiff John Mountford. Buddakan

NYC, a restaurant location in or around Chelsea Market has an address at 75 9th Avenue

New York, NY, which is owned and operated by the Defendants. The restaurant and

pretentious hot spot appears just as any other chic New York City luxury fusion food

spot, offering their patrons various dishes in Asian cuisine. However, the real story of

Buddakan is much darker one; it is a story of discrimination against a hard working

young gentleman who was and is HIV Positive.

8. In this case, the Defendants systematically discriminated and retaliated against the

Plaintiff on account of his disability, therefore contributing to the hostile work

environment perpetrated by the Defendants against the Plaintiff which culminated in the

Plaintiff’s unlawful termination from Buddakan.

9.Plaintiff is a twenty six year old male and is HIV POSITIVE. Defendants wrongfully

and unlawfully terminated Plaintiff, an assiduous worker with an outstanding

employment record.

10. Plaintiff Mountford began his employment for the Defendants in 2013. Plaintiff was

a server/waiter for the Defendants. Despite the Plaintiff’s best efforts to always provide

high quality customer service, Defendants’ supervisors systematically targeted the

Plaintiff, who upon information and belief was the only HIV Positive employee

employed by Buddakan. When the Plaintiff complained about such unlawful

discrimination to his supervisor, the Plaintiff was met with hostility and terminated.

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Plaintiff’s termination was a direct result of his complaint regarding being discriminated

against on account of his membership in a protected class.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

11. On or about August 1, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

(“EEOC”) received Plaintiffs’ EEOC Charges.

12. The EEOC issued a Right to Sue Letter on or about February 16th, 2017.

13. This action was commenced within 90 days of receipt of the EEOC’s Right to Sue.

PARTIES

14. Plaintiff Mounford is an individual man who is a resident of the State of New York in

New York with a residence located at 318 East 59th Street, Apt. 4A, New York, New York

10022.

15. Defendant Buddakan is part of the collectively known restaurant chain as “Starr

Restaurants.” These limited partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations or

otherwise, filed with the department of State in Pennsylvania, have an address for the

purpose of business transactions located at 134 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

19106.

16. Defendant Buddakan NY, LP is a Limited Partnership Company which conducts

business in the State of New York.

17. Defendant Starr Restaurants Catering Group GP, LLC is a Delaware Limited Liability

Company.

18. Defendant Starr Restaurant Group Partners GP, LLC was and is a foreign

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(Pennsylvania) limited liability company that does business in the State of New York.

19. Defendant Starr Restaurant Group Partners, L.P. was and is a foreign (Pennsylvania)

Limited Partnership that does business in the State of New York.

20. Defendant Starr Restaurant Group, LLC was a foreign (Pennsylvania) Limited

Liability Company that does business in the State of New York.

21. Defendant Starr Restaurant Organization GP, LLC was and is a foreign (Pennsylvania)

Limited Liability Company that does business in the State of New York.

22. Defendant Starr Restaurant Organization LLC (SRO MANAGEMENT, LLC) was

and is a foreign (Pennsylvania) Limited Liability Company that does business in the State

of New York.

23. Defendant Starr Restaurant Organization, LP was and is a foreign (Pennsylvania)

limited partnership which conducts business in the State of New York.

24. Defendant Starr Restaurants Hotel Group, GP, LLC was and is a foreign Limited

Liability Company that does business in the State of New York.

25. Defendant Starr Restaurants Hotel Group, LP was and is a foreign Limited Partnership

that does business in the State of New York.

26. Defendant Commerce Restaurant Partners, LLC is a foreign (Pennsylvania) Limited

Liability Company that does business in the State of New York.

27. Defendant Harbour Restaurant Partners, LLC was and is a foreign (Pennsylvania)

Limited Liability Company that does business in the State of New York.

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28. At all times material, Plaintiff Mountford was an employee of the Defendants.

29. At all times material, all of the named Defendants were joint employers of the Plaintiff.

All the above names entities could take tangible employment actions against the Plaintiff.

30. At all times material, Defendants’ Supervising employee, Defendant Brandon

WERGELES (hereinafter referred to as Defendants’ General Manager Wergeles) was the

General Manager of Buddakan New York throughout these incidents which culminated

with Wergerles’ final act of discrimination: terminating the Plaintiff because he was HIV

Positive which Wergerles falsely and ignorantly believed would prevent Plaintiff from

doing his job.

31. At all times material, Defendants’ employee Wergeles possessed supervisory

authority over the Plaintiff and had the authority to (i) hire and fire, (ii) control the

Plaintiffs’ work schedule; (iii) control the daily work activities of the Plaintiffs and (iv)

take other tangible actions at work against the Plaintiff.

32. Throughout the Plaintiff’s employment, the Defendants subjected the Plaintiff to

numerous acts of unlawful harassment, discrimination, retaliation, hostility in the working

environment, and other unlawful employment practices which include but are not limited

to the following facts:

FACTS-PLAINTIFF MOUNTFORD

33. In or around February of 2013, the Defendants hired Plaintiff Mountford as a

server/waiter at Buddakan NYC (a restaurant of Starr Restaurants).

34. Plaintiff Mountford moved from Florida to New York to begin working with the

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Defendants and worked approximately forty hours a week.

35. As an employee for STARR RESTAURANTS at BUDDAKAN NYC, the Plaintiff

always completed each work related task assiduously and on time.

36. Plaintiff Mountford is a twenty six year (26) old male and is HIV POSITIVE.

37. According to the Centers for Diesease Control and Prevention, The Human

Immunodeficieny Virus (“HIV/AIDS”) “is a virus spread through certain body fluids that

attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over

time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and

diseases. These special cells help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV

reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body. This damage to the immune system

makes it harder and harder for the body to fight off infections and some other diseases.

Opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and

signal that the person has AIDS”

38. Plaintiff Mountford has been HIV Positive since the Spring of 2010. Upon receiving

his diagnosis, the Plaintiff was placed on a clinical trial for different type of medications,

however, after dropping to 96 pounds and facing the prospect of kidney failure, the

Plaintiff’s doctors needed to try different forms of treatment for the Plaintiff, some of which

continued during the Plaintiff’s employment.

39. During the first couple of years as a Server, Plaintiff Mountford notified the General

Manager at that time, Andy Vaughan, as well as Ed Krebser, the Assistant General

Manager of the Claimant’s disability: his HIV Positive health status. During that time

period the Plaintiff also notified all other managerial staff of his HIV Positive health status.

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40. Plaintiff notified Management of his HIV condition because on particular occasions

Plaintiff Mountford needed to fly home to meet with his medical team so they could

provide the Plaintiff with progress updates based on physical examinations which included

substantial bloodwork.

41. During this time period, the Defendants accommodated Plaintiff Mountford based on

his disability by permitting him to take breaks so that the Plaintiff could inject himself in

the stomach with medication and take other medications at very specific times as required

by his doctors. Unfortunately this kind of treatment from Defendants’ Management did not

last long.

42. After approximately two years of working for the Defendants, Plaintiff Mountford

was promoted at Defendants BUDDAKAN NYC restaurant to the position of Closing

Server. A Closing Server manages the closing of the tables as patrons leave, as well as the

physical zone in the restaurant.

43. The Closing Server promotion also came with a salary promotion and additional work

responsibilities.

44. Defendants often commended the Plaintiff on his work at BUDDAKAN NYC and

consistently placed Plaintiff in the section of the restaurant which had the most tables and

patrons. In addition, Defendants pushed the Plaintiff to drive sales and turn over tables

quickly so that additional patrons could sit, eat, and leave quickly, thereby generating more

revenue for the restaurant.

45. On average, the Plaintiff generated approximately $780,00.00-$1,040,000.00 yearly

for the Defendants based on the amount of average sales that the Plaintiff generated on

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account of diligent work and long hours.

46. Time and time again, Plaintiff Mountford dominated sales contests among the

employees at Buddakan, which included but were not limited to selling the most

champagne in one evening. As a result of winning these contests, Defendants often

provided Plaintiff Mountford with bottles of wine or other prizes.

47. In or around November of 2015, Defendant’s Director of Operations, Michelle Evans,

was replaced by Tina Long, a long time Buddakan employee.

48. During LONG’S tenure as Director of Operations, she lauded Plaintiff Mountford’s

work ethic and commended Plaintiff for bringing “positive energy” to Starr Restaurants

and to Buddakan.

49. In or around June of 2016, STARR RESTAURANTS brought in Brandon

WERGELES as the General Manager of BUDDAKAN NYC. As Defendants General

Manager, Wergeles oversaw all other managerial staff as well as the day to day operations

of the restaurant.

50. Defendants General Manager WERGELES possessed the power to hire and fire

BUKKAKAN NYC employees. He further possessed the power to direct any employee’s

daily work responsibilities.

51. During WERGELES’ tenure as General Manager, Plaintiff MOUNTFORD continued

to receive commendations for the work he performed as a Closing Server. For example,

Defendants presented the Plaintiff with awards for having the highest sales in the entire

restaurant and for selling the most bottles at BUDDAKAN NYC.

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52. During the month of June, 2015, the Plaintiff left the United States for an approved

one week vacation. Upon returning from vacation on or about June 17, 2016, Defendants’

employee and supervisor Samantha DUFF and DRAGONNA [Last Name Unknown] told

that Plaintiff that Defendants’ General Manager WERGERLES had been meeting with

other STARR RESTAURANT managers to discuss Plaintiffs Mountford’s health and use

of HIV medication.

53. During this conversation, Plaintiff Mountford, who was always open about his health

status, disclosed to Manager’s DUFF and DRAGONNA that he was HIV Positive.

54. Plaintiff MOUNTFORD further informed Managers’ DUFF and DRAGONNA that if

Defendants’ General Manager WERGELES had any questions regarding the Claimant’s

serious health condition, the Claimant would be more than happy to openly discuss his

condition.

55. Upon hearing about the Plaintiff’s HIV Positive status, Defendants’ Manager

DRAGONNA appeared mortified and gazed at Plaintiff MOUNTFORD in horror.

56. On or about June 23, 2016, Plaintiff MOUNTFORD arrived at BUDDAKAN NYC

early for his shift and walked over to the floor shift plan as Plaintiff did routinely when he

was working. At or around that same time, other employees of the Defendants advised

Plaintiff MOUNTFORD that they were unable to find the plan.

57. As Plaintiff Mountford looked around BUDDAKAN NYC for the floor shift plan,

Plaintiff was pulled aside by Defendants General Manager WERGELES.

58. WERGELES led the Plaintiff into an office where two other managers were also in

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attendance. WERGELES told the Plaintiff that although he was a huge asset to the

company, the Plaintiff became a liability because a guest of the restaurant called and

complained that they had allegedly been charged twice on their credit card for a sales

transaction.

59. Plaintiff MOUNTFORD immediately recalled the previous shift WERGELES was

referring to and explained that the shift was a “communal shift” (using the vernacular of

BUDDAKAN NYC employees). A “communal shift” is when two employees pool the

sales of the day under one employee number. For example, large parties for special events

would be assigned to a communal shift where multiple servers could be assigned to the

tables.

60. On the evening in question Plaintiff MOUNTFORD was with another server,

however, the other server was not held accountable for the alleged guest complaint nor was

the other server questioned or present in the meeting with Plaintiff MOUNTFORD.

61. Plaintiff MOUNTFORD respectfully requested a copy of the check in question from

Defendant’ General Manager WERGELES so that the Plaintiff could try to recall whether

he swiped the credit card incorrectly (For reference, the Plaintiff never had a prior cash

handling issue regarding the overcharging of a credit card).

62. The above represents the legitimate non-discriminatory purpose that Defendants tried

to fabricate to unlawfully terminate the Plaintiff due to his health condition.

63. Upon information and belief, the Plaintiff was the only individual terminated for such

a baseless, unfounded and fabricated mistake.

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64. In addition, Defendants’ General Manager WERGELES accused Plaintiff

MOUNTFORD of taking an unauthorized vacation, even though the Plaintiff had arranged

his vacation months and received approval.

65. Moreover, Defendants’ General Manager WERGELES accused Plaintiff

MOUNTFORD of taking an upcoming three week trip, even though WERGELES was

actually referring to a fellow employee’s vacation and not the Plaintiffs.

66. In the midst of these accusations, Plaintiff MOUNTFORD realized the interrogation

was abnormal and requested that a neutral witness be present in the meeting. The

Defendants denied Plaintiff MOUNTFORD’S request.

67. In retaliation against the Plaintiff and in furtherance of WERGELES’ discriminatory

tirade, WERGELES finally discussed the true reason for Plaintiff’s unlawful termination.

68. Most importantly, Defendants’ General Manager WERGELES told the Plaintiff

he was a “liability” and that he had “heard other things that were concerning.” When

the Plaintiff asked whether WERGELES was referring to the Plaintiff’s HIV Status,

WERGELES asked the Plaintiff “Don’t you think I should be made aware of a health

condition (HIV) that could be detrimental to your job performance?”

69. Defendants’ General Manager WERGELES left the Plaintiff feeling mortified

and ashamed of his HIV disability. Plaintiff mustered all of the emotional strength

that he could and said to WERGELES “Detrimental? [referring to his health status].

Defendants’ General Manager WERGELES then responded “CLEARLY!”

70. Immediately after Defendants’ General Manager WERGELES was finished berating

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the Plaintiff over his HIV status, WERGELES then told the Plaintiff that if he needed any

positive letters of recommendation the Plaintiff could notify WERGELES and

WERGELES would provide a positive letter of recommendation to the Plaintiff.

71. After offering to help recommend the Plaintiff to other employers, STARR

RESTAURANTS’ Assistant General Manager Rob SAUNDERS (also present in the

meeting), escorted the Plaintiff toward the exit of BUDDAKAN NYC and told the Plaintiff

“I’m so sorry that just happened.”

72. Upon leaving BUDDAKAN NYC and being unlawfully terminated on account of his

disability, Defendants did not present the Plaintiff with any negative write-ups and did not

present the Plaintiff with any termination papers, even though other employees similarly

situated to the Plaintiff who were terminated in the past were presented with termination

papers.

73. As a result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff MOUNTFORD felt extremely humiliated,

degraded, victimized, embarrassed, and emotionally distressed.

74. The above are just some examples of the unlawful disability discrimination and

retaliation to which Defendants subjected Plaintiff.

75. As a result of Defendants’ discriminatory and intolerable treatment, Plaintiff suffered

and continues to suffer from anxiety and severe emotional distress. He cannot sleep at night

because Plaintiff relives the discriminatory actions taken by the Defendants every day.

Defendants further left the Plaintiff in a state of depression as Plaintiff is now ashamed to

be HIV Positive and feels like he is a “detriment” to society just as Defendants’ General

Manager WERGELES told him he was.

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76. As a result of the acts and conduct complained of herein, Plaintiff has suffered and

will continue to suffer the loss of income, the loss of a salary, bonuses, benefits and other

compensation which such employment entails. Plaintiff has also suffered pecuniary losses,

emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-

pecuniary losses.

77. As Defendants’ conduct has been malicious, willful, outrageous, and conducted with

full knowledge of the law, Plaintiff demands Punitive Damages against all Respondents

jointly and severally.

AS AND FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
DISCRIMINATION UNDER THE
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
(Not Against Individual Defendants)

78. Plaintiff repeats and realleges each and every allegation made in the above paragraphs

of this complaint.

79. Plaintiff claims Defendants violated Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act

of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-336) (ADA), as amended, as these titles appear in volume 42 of the

United States Code, beginning at section 12101.

80. SEC. 12112. [Section 102] specifically states “(a) General Rule. - No covered

entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the

disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring,

advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other

terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.”

81. Defendants violated the above and Plaintiff suffered numerous damages as a

result.

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AS A SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
FOR RETALIATION UNDER
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
(not against individual Defendants)

82. Plaintiff repeats and realleges each and every allegation made in the above

paragraphs of this complaint.

83. SEC. 12203. [Section 503] states, “(a) Retaliation. - No person shall discriminate

against any individual because such individual has opposed any act or practice made

unlawful by this chapter or because such individual made a charge, testified, assisted, or

participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this chapter.

84. Defendants violated the above and Plaintiff suffered numerous damages as a

result.

AS A THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DISCRIMINATION
UNDER THE NEW YORK CITY ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

85. Plaintiffs repeat, reiterate and reallege each and every allegation made in the above paragraphs of

this Complaint as if more fully set forth herein at length.

86. The Administrative Code of City of NY § 8-107 [1] provides that "It shall be an unlawful

discriminatory practice: "(a) For an employer or an employee or agent thereof, because of the

actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status,

sexual orientation or alienage or citizenship status of any person, to refuse to hire or employ

or to bar or to discharge from employment such person or to discriminate against such person

in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment."

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87. Defendants engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice in violation of New York City

Administrative Code Title 8, §8-107(l)(a) by creating and maintaining discriminatory working

conditions, and otherwise discriminating against the Plaintiffs as set forth herein.

AS A FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DISCRIMINATION
UNDER THE NEW YORK CITY ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

88. Plaintiffs repeat, reiterate and reallege each and every allegation made in the above

paragraphs of this Complaint as if more fully set forth herein at length.

89. The New York City Administrative Code Title 8, §8-107(l)(e) provides that it shall be unlawful

discriminatory practice: "For an employer... to discharge ... or otherwise discriminate against

any person because such person has opposed any practices forbidden under this chapter..."

90. Each of the Defendants engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice in violation of New

York City Administrative Code Title 8, §8-107(l)(e) by discriminating against the Plaintiffs

because of Plaintiffs’ opposition to the unlawful employment practices of Plaintiffs’ employer.

AS A FIFTH CAUSE OFACTION FOR DISCRIMINATION
UNDER THE NEW YORK CITYADMINISTRATIVE CODE

91. Plaintiffs repeat, reiterate and reallege each and every allegation made in the above

paragraphs of this Complaint as if more fully set forth herein at length.

92. New York City Administrative Code Title 8-107(19) Interference with protected rights. It shall be

an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with,

or attempt to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with, any person in the exercise or

enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having aided or encouraged any other person in the

exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected pursuant to this section.

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93. Defendants violated the section cited herein as set forth.

AS A SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION
FOR DISCRIMINATION UNDER
THE NEW YORK CITY ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

94. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation made in the above paragraphs

of this complaint.

95. The New York City Administrative Code Title 8, §8-107(6) provides that it shall be

unlawful discriminatory practice: "For any person to aid, abet, incite, compel; or coerce

the doing of any of the acts forbidden under this chapter, or attempt to do so."

96. Defendants engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice in violation of New York

City Administrative Code Title 8, §8-107(6) by aiding, abetting, inciting, compelling

and coercing the above discriminatory, unlawful and retaliatory conduct.

AS A SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DISCRIMINATION
UNDER THE NEW YORK CITY ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

97. Plaintiffs repeat, reiterate and reallege each and every allegation made in the above

paragraphs of this Complaint as if more fully set forth herein at length.

98. New York City Administrative Code Title 8-107(13) Employer liability for discriminatory

conduct by employee, agent or independent contractor.

a. An employer shall be liable for an unlawful discriminatory practice based upon the

conduct of an employee or agent which is in violation of any provision of this

section other than subdivisions one and two of this section.

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b. An employer shall be liable for an unlawful discriminatory practice based upon the

conduct of an employee or agent which is in violation of subdivision one or two of

this section only where:

(1) the employee or agent exercised managerial or supervisory responsibility; or

(2) the employer knew of the employee's or agent's discriminatory conduct, and

acquiesced in such conduct or failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective

action; an employer shall be deemed to have knowledge of an employee's or agent's

discriminatory conduct where that conduct was known by another employee or

agent who exercised managerial or supervisory responsibility; or

(3) the employer should have known of the employee's or agent's discriminatory

conduct and failed to exercise reasonable diligence to prevent such discriminatory

conduct.

99. Defendants violated the section cited herein as set forth.

AS AN EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR
DISCRIMINATION UNDER STATE LAW

100. Executive Law § 296 provides that "1. It shall be an unlawful

discriminatory practice: "(a) For an employer or licensing agency, because of an individual's

age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability,

predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status, to refuse

to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate

against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment."

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101. Defendants engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice by

discriminating against the Plaintiffs as set forth herein.

102. Plaintiffs hereby make a claim against Defendants under all of the applicable

paragraphs of Executive Law Section 296.

AS A NINTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR
DISCRIMINATION UNDER STATE LAW

103. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation made in the above

paragraphs of this complaint.

104. New York State Executive Law §296(7) provides that it shall be an

unlawful discriminatory practice:

For any person engaged in any activity to which this section applies to retaliate or discriminate

against any person because [s]he has opposed any practices forbidden under this article."

105. Defendants engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice by discharging,

retaliating, and otherwise discriminating against the Plaintiffs because of Plaintiffs’ opposition

to the unlawful employment practices of Plaintiffs’ employer.

AS A TENTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR
DISCRIMINATION UNDER STATE LAW
(As Against All Individual Defendants)

106. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation made in the above

paragraphs of this complaint.

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107. New York State Executive Law §296(6) provides that it shall be an

unlawful discriminatory practice:

"For any person to aid, abet, incite compel or coerce the doing of any acts forbidden under this

article, or attempt to do so."

108. Defendants engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice in violation of

New York State Executive Law §296(6) by aiding, abetting, inciting, compelling and

coercing the discriminatory conduct.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests a judgment against the Defendants

jointly and severally for all available damages including but not limited to emotional

distress, lost wages, back pay, front pay, punitive damages, statutory damages,

attorney’s fees, costs, medical expenses, interest and all other damages as are just and

proper to remedy Defendants’ unlawful employment practices.

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff demands a trial by jury as to all issues so triable.

Dated: New York, New York
December 19, 2016

DEREK SMITH LAW GROUP, PLLC
Attorneys for Plaintiff

By: _________________________
Paul Liggieri, Esq.
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30 Broad Street, 35th Floor
New York, New York 10004
(212) 587-0760

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