Discrimination Complaint

IN THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT COURT
IN AND FOR MARION COUNTY, FLORIDA

 

SAMPLE PLAINTIFF 1 and
SECOND SAMPLE,                                                            Case No.

Plaintiffs.

 

v.

 

SAMPLE DEFENDANT,

Defendant.

_______________________________/

 

PLAINTIFFS’ COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs Sample Plaintiff 1 and Sample Plaintiff 2(“Plaintiffs”), by and through their undersigned counsel, hereby file this suit against Defendant Sample Defendant (“Defendant”), and allege:

 

NATURE OF CLAIMS

  1. This is an action against Defendant to redress the deprivation of rights secured to Plaintiffs by the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 (“FCRA”), fla. stat §§ 760.01 et seq.

 

STATUTORY PREREQUISITES TO SUIT

  1. Plaintiffs have exhausted their administrative remedies and complied with all statutory prerequisites to maintaining the claims asserted herein as required by the FCRA. Further, Plaintiffs have performed all conditions precedent to maintaining the claims asserted herein as required by the FCRA.

 

 

JURISDICTION, VENUE AND PARTIES

  1. This is an action for damages in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of interest and costs.
  2. The alleged unlawful acts of Defendant giving rise to this action were committed in Alachua County, Florida, within the jurisdiction of Marion County, Florida.
  3. Plaintiffs are citizens of Florida and the United States.
  4. Defendant is a corporation doing business in the State of Florida.

 

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

  1. Plaintiffs, who are African-American, are members of a class protected against discrimination on the basis of their race by the FCRA.  Further, Plaintiffs are members of a class protected against discrimination on the basis of color by the FCRA.
  2. At all times material hereto, Plaintiffs were employees of Defendant within the meaning of the FCRA. As employees of Defendant for purposes of the FCRA, Plaintiff s were protected against discrimination on the basis of race and color with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of their employment
  3. At all times material hereto, Defendant was the employer of Plaintiffs within the meaning of the FCRA. As their employer for purposes of the FCRA, Defendant was prohibited from discriminating against Plaintiffs on the basis of race and color with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of their employment.
  4. Plaintiff’s  employment relationship with Defendant has lasted for approximately seven years to date. Since January 1, 2008, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 has performed the duties of an assistant manager at four of Defendant’s stores located in Marion County, Florida.
  5. At all times material hereto, Defendant was a person within the meaning of the FCRA, fla. stat. § 760.02(6), employing fifteen or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
  6. Defendant was an employer within the meaning the FCRA, fla stat. § 760.02(7).
  7. At all times material hereto, Sam Sample (“Sample”) was an employee and/or agent of the Defendant. Sample had the authority to hire, fire, promote, demote, transfer, and/or discipline employees, along with the authority to recommend such action. Further, Sample was a supervisor of the Plaintiffs, having immediate or successively higher authority over them. Furthermore, Sample was acting within the course and scope of his employment and/or agency when he committed the acts alleged herein.

SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS

  1. Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 worked for Defendant, Sample Defendant for approximately six years.  Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 2 also worked for Defendant.
  2. As of January 1, 2008 Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 was promoted to the position of assistant manager at store 23291051. The store manager at that time was Plaintiff Sample.
  3. Shortly after Plaintiff Sample’s promotion, district manager Sam Sample informed Plaintiffs, both personally and through the other district manager, Sample Man, that he (Sample) did not want two black managers working in the same store because the store served mostly white customers.
  4. In or around March of 2008, Sample fired Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 2 because he objected to being transferred to a “black” store.  Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 also objected, but Sample told him that if he did not agree to the transfer, he would be likewise terminated.
  5. Following his transfer to store 2, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 was given significantly fewer hours to work, resulting in a reduction in his income.
  6. Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 was later transferred again, to store 2. At this store Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 continued to be given fewer hours to work and to earn a lower wage than he had at store 2.
  7. On December 9, 2008, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 filed a charge of discrimination against Defendant with the EEOC.  Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 2 had also filed charges with the EEOC.
  8. On December 21, 2008, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 was suspended for 3 days without pay without merit or cause.
  9. Following this suspension, Plaintiff SAMPLE’ store manager, Dudley Mackey, informed Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 that he and the other district manager, Sample Man, had been instructed by Sample to start making an effort to write Plaintiff up at any opportunity.
  10. Sample Man also informed Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 on February 25, 2009 that Sample stated that he planned to call the police and tell them falsely that Plaintiff had drugs in his house.

 

COUNT I:  DISPARATE TREATMENT UNDER FCRA BY BOTH PLAINTIFFS

  1. Plaintiffs hereby restate the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 23, as though stated fully and completely herein.
  2. During their employment, Plaintiffs possessed the skills and background necessary to perform the duties of their positions. As such, Plaintiffs were qualified for the positions.
  3. During their employment, Defendant, though its employee and/or agent Sample, treated Plaintiffs differently and less favorably from similarly situated employees outside the protected class. The disparate treatment of Plaintiffs included, but was not limited to, the following: reducing Plaintiffs’ wages without cause; reducing the hours Plaintiffs worked without cause; transferring or attempting to transfer Plaintiffs repeatedly among different stores without adequate reason or explanation; blatantly informing Plaintiffs that said transfers were due to their race; and threatening to terminate Plaintiffs if they did not agree to said transfers and reductions in their wages and hours.
  4. The discriminatory actions of Defendant against Plaintiffs, when considered individually or collectively, constitute an adverse employment action for purposes of the FCRA. More specifically, the actions constitute an ultimate employment decision, altered the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of Plaintiffs’ employment, and/or adversely affected Plaintiffs’ status as employees. As such, the disparate treatment constitutes an adverse employment action within the meaning of the FCRA.
  5. The adverse employment actions were taken because of Plaintiffs’ race and/or color. More specifically, Plaintiffs’ race and/or color played a motivating factor in the adverse employment actions.
  6. In. subjecting Plaintiffs to adverse employment action on the basis of race and/or color, Defendant intentionally discriminated against Plaintiffs with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of their employment.
  7. As a proximate result of the aforementioned intentional discriminatory acts of Defendant, through its employees and/or agents, Plaintiffs have suffered damages, including, but not limited to, the following: lost wages, income, and employment benefits; emotional pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and dignitary injury; and costs, including attorney’s fees, in pursuing redress for the deprivation of their civil rights.
  8. This claim for disparate treatment on the basis of race and/or color is asserted against Defendant pursuant to the FCRA, fla. stat. §§ 760.01 et seq.
  9. By and through acts alleged, Defendant intentionally discriminated against Plaintiffs because of race and/or color with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of their employment.
  10. As a proximate result of the aforementioned intentional discriminatory acts of Defendant, through its employees and/or agents, Plaintiffs have suffered damages as alleged more specifically in paragraph 30.
  11. The aforementioned intentional discriminatory acts of Defendant, through its employees and/or agents, give rise to a cause of action under FCRA. In particular, the FCRA forbids discrimination against any employee on the basis of race and/or color with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
  12. If Plaintiffs prevail on their FCRA claim, resulting in vindication of their civil rights, then Plaintiffs are entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to the FCRA.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs both pray this Honorable Court grant the following relief: an order declaring that Defendant violated Plaintiffs’ rights under the FCRA; an order for compensatory damages for emotional pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, dignitary injury, and other non-pecuniary losses; an order for back pay, including the economic value of lost employment benefits and interest on back pay; an order for front pay, including interest on front pay, or for reinstatement in lieu of front pay; an order for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs; punitive damages; an order enjoining Defendant from engaging in any such unlawful employment practice under the FCRA, and for any other affirmative action or equitable relief as the Court deems appropriate; and for other and further relief as the Court deems just and  proper.

COUNT II: RETALIATION UNDER FCRA BY PLAINTIFF SAMPLE

  1. Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 hereby restates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 35 as though stated fully and completely herein.
    1. The FCRA prohibit employers, such as Defendant, from taking adverse employment action against employees in retaliation for their engaging in statutorily protected activity under Title VII and the FCRA.
    2. As an employee of Defendant, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 was protected against retaliatory adverse employment action for engaging in statutorily protected activity under the FCRA.  More specifically, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 was protected against retaliatory adverse employment action for opposing any practice of Defendant made an unlawful employment practice by the FCRA. Further, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 was protected against retaliation in employment decisions for opposing racial and/or color discrimination in the workplace.
    3. Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 engaged in protected activity by filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and the FCHR in or around December 2008.
    4. In opposing the discriminatory behavior, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 had a good faith, reasonable belief that he had been or was being subjected to unlawful discrimination on the basis of race and/or color. As such, Plaintiff engaged in statutorily protected activity wherein the meaning of the FCRA.
    5. In response to Plaintiff Sample’s statutorily protected activity, Defendant, through its employees and/or agents, adopted a pattern of subjecting Plaintiff to a series of retaliatory adverse employment actions, including, but not limited to, the following: subjecting Plaintiff to unpaid suspension without adequate cause; subjecting Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 to written disciplinary action without adequate cause; threatening to continue to subject Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 to disciplinary action without cause, and informing Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 of such plans; and threatening to make false police reports against Plaintiff.
    6. These reprisals were a materially adverse employment action in that such actions, whether considered individually or collectively, constituted an ultimate employment decision, altered the terms, conditions or privileges of Plaintiff Sample’s employment, and/or adversely affected Plaintiff’s status as an employee. Further, the retaliatory acts were reasonably likely to deter employees from engaging in protected activity. As such, the retaliatory acts constitute adverse employment actions for the purposes of the FCRA.
    7. The retaliatory harassing acts when considered collectively were sufficiently severe and/or pervasive to materially alter the conditions of Plaintiff’s employment and create a hostile working environment. In working a materially adverse change in the terms and conditions of Plaintiff Sample’s employment, the retaliatory harassment constitutes an adverse employment action for purposes of the FCRA.
    8. Defendant, through its employees and/or agents, was aware of’ Plaintiff Sample’s statutorily projected activity when it subjected him to adverse employment action. More specifically, Plaintiff was subjected to adverse employment action after he engaged in statutorily protected activity.
    9. The adverse employment action was taken because of Plaintiff Sample’s statutorily protected activity. More specifically, Plaintiff’s protected activity was a motivating factor in the adverse employment actions.
    10. In taking adverse employment action against Plaintiff because of his statutorily protected activity, Defendant intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of his employment.
    11. By and through acts alleged, Defendant intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff for engaging in statutorily protected activity under the FCRA.
    12. This claim for retaliation is asserted against Defendant pursuant to the FCRA, fla. stat. § 760.01 et seq.
    13. By and through acts alleged, Defendant intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff for engaging in statutorily protected activity under the FCRA.
    14. As a proximate result of the aforementioned intentional discriminatory acts of Defendant, through its employees and/or agents, Plaintiff has suffered damages as alleged more specifically in paragraph 30.
    15. The aforementioned intentional discriminatory acts of Defendant, through its employees and/or agents, give rise to a cause of action under the FCRA. In particular, the FCRA prohibits employers from taking adverse employment action against employees in retaliation for their engaging in statutorily projected activity under the FCRA.
    16. If Plaintiff prevails on his FCRA claim, resulting in vindication of his civil rights, then Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to the FCRA.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Sample Plaintiff 1 prays this Honorable Court grant the following relief: an order declaring that Defendant violated Plaintiff’s rights under the FCRA; an order for compensatory damages for emotional pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, dignitary injury, and other non-pecuniary losses: an order for back pay, including the economic value of lost employment benefits and interest on back pay; an order for front pay, including interest on front pay, or for reinstatement in lieu of front pay; an order for reasonable attorney’s fees (including expert fees) and costs; punitive damages; an order enjoining Defendant from engaging in any such unlawful employment practice under the FCRA, and for any other affirmative action or equitable relief as the Court deems appropriate; and for other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff hereby demands pursuant to fla. R. CIV. P. 1.430 a trial by jury on all issues so triable.

Respectfully submitted this this ____ day of _____________, 2009.

Massey & Duffy, PLLC

By:                                                        

Michael O. Massey

Attorney for Plaintiff

Florida Bar No. 153680

824 E. University Ave.

P.O. Box 2638

Gainesville, FL 32602

(352) 374-0877

(888) 852-8242 (fax)