District Judge Paul Engelmayer
Dunn worked for the City University of New York’s (CUNY). After a Sept. 12, 2008, hearing on charges of unauthorized absence and failure to timely report to work, Dunn was docked four days’ pay. Removed from payroll of Sept. 30, 2008, Dunn was formally terminated by CUNY on April 21, 2009. District court dismissed Dunn’s second amended complaint asserting, among other things, retaliation violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York City Human Rights Law, deprivation of wages and wage increases under New York’s Labor Law, and that untimely notice of her right to continued health coverage under COBRA violated ERISA. Employer CUNY was immune under the Eleventh Amendment. Also, Dunn did not make a prima facie showing of retaliation violating the FLSA. Her oral complaints to her supervisors did not constitute protected activity under the FLSA. Further, assuming a complaint to the state’s human rights agency (SDHR) was “protected activity” under the FLSA, Dunn did not plead facts supporting a causal connection between that complaint and any alleged adverse employment action. Moreover, the disciplinary charges that led to Dunn’s removal from the payroll were brought before her SDHR complaint.