As a result of filing a claim against Appliance Direct, Appliance Direct retaliated against them in violation of law. Case is on-going in Federal Court.
Retaliation case. Plaintiffs secured a judgment against Appliance Direct due to unpaid overtime. As a result of filing a claim against Appliance Direct, Appliance Direct retaliated against them in violation of law. Case is on-going in Federal Court.
Here is the complaint:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT
OF FLORIDA ORLANDO DIVISION
JASON EVERS, and
Plaintiffs, CASE NO. 6:09-cv-224
APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC., a Florida
corporation and SEI PAK, individually,
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Comes now Plaintiffs, LEONARD MOORE, JASON EVERS, CHRISTOPHER LUNGRIN, (hereinafter referred to as “Plaintiffs”), by and through their undersigned counsel, and sues the Defendants , APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC., and SEI PAk, individually, (collectively hereinafter called “Defendants”) and allege as follows:
JURISDICTION AND PARTIES
1. This is an action for damages that exceed $15,000.00 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) by Plaintiffs, exclusive of costs, interest and attorney’s fees. Each Plaintiff’s damages exceeds $15,000.00.
2. The unlawful employment practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
3. At all times material herein Plaintiffs are and have been residents of Brevard County, Florida.
4. This action arises under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) 29 U.S.C. 215(a)(3). The Court has jurisdiction over the FLSA claims pursuant to 29 U.S.C.
216(b) and 28 U.S.C. 1331.
5. Defendants are employers as defined by 29 U.S.C. Section 203(d). Defendant APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC. has employees subject to the provisions of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. Section 206, in the facility where Plaintiffs were employed and where they were denied truck routes.
6. Defendant, SEI PAK, CEO of APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC., also controlled the Plaintiffs and was the individual ultimately responsible for violating the FLSA anti-retaliation provisions.
7. At all times material hereto, LEONARD MOORE was an employee of APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC., within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. Section 203(e)(1).
8. At all times material hereto, JASON EVERS was an employee of APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC., within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. Section 203(e)(1).
9. At all times material hereto, CHRISTOPHER LUNGRIN was an employee of APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC., within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. Section 203(e)(1).
10. All conditions precedent to the institution and maintenance of this cause of action have been met or waived.
11. Plaintiffs have retained the Law Firm of Allen and Arcadier, P.A. to represent them in this matter and have agreed to pay said firm a reasonable attorney’s fee for its services.
RETALIATION UNDER PROVISIONS OF THE
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT UNDER FEDERAL LAW
12. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate herein the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 11.
13. Plaintiffs were employed by Defendants as delivery truck drivers.
14. During the course of employment of Plaintiffs with Defendants, Plaintiffs filed an FLSA lawsuit on or about February 18, 2008.
15. Plaintiffs are currently involved in a lawsuit before this Court, against the Defendants, for violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Case No. 6:08-cv-317-Orl-19DAB.
16. During the time of the lawsuit, around early 2008, Defendants began changing the employment status of its delivery truck drivers from employees to independent contractors.
17. Other delivery truck drivers, who were not named Plaintiffs of the aforementioned overtime lawsuit, were offered independent contractor contracts and routes; however Plaintiffs were not offered the opportunity to apply for such routes or contracts.
18. The reason Plaintiffs were not offered the opportunity to apply for the delivery routes was solely due to Plaintiffs having initiated an FLSA overtime lawsuit.
19. Plaintiffs complained to their supervisor, Mr. Jeff Pena, regarding the fact that they had not received any delivery route assignments. In response, Mr. Pena simply dismissed Plaintiffs’ inquiries by telling them that the reason they had not received any route assignments was because Plaintiffs were “part of the overtime lawsuit”. Mr. Pena even suggested for Plaintiffs to drop their caims if they wanted the delivery routes.
20. In fact, other managers besides Mr. Pena had related the same reasoning to each of the Plaintiffs.
21. Further, Plaintiffs’ involvement in the aforementioned lawsuit has led to their ostracization within the workplace and ridicule from their peers and supervisors. Fellow co-workers who had received the delivery routes mocked and ridiculed the Plaintiffs for pursuing their FLSA claims.
22. Pursuant to 29 U.S.A. 215(a)(3), Defendants, APPLIANCE DIRECT, INC., and SEI PAK, are not allowed to discriminate against Plaintiffs and take adverse employment action as a result of Plaintiffs claiming they are owed monies under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions.
23. Plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer grave and severe mental anguish and emotional distress, severe damage to their financial welfare, and their employment prospects, severe damage to their reputation in the community in which they live and work, and among their peers by reason of Defendant’s violation of Plaintiffs’ rights.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for judgment against the Defendants, as follows:
(a) Reimbursement of lost compensation;
(b) Prejudgment and post judgment interests;
(d) Attorneys fees and costs;
(e) Liquidated damages pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 216(b);
(f) Compensatory damages including mental anguish;
(g) Such other relief as the Court deems just and equitable.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiffs demand a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.
Dated: February , 2009
ARCADIER AND ASSOCIATES, P.A.
Maurice Arcadier, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 131180
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
2815 W. New Haven, 304
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 953-5998
Fax: (321) 953-6075
Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Date Filed: 2009-02-05
Our Melbourne office is centrally located in Brevard County, enabling our lawyers to serve clients throughout “the Space Coast”, including Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Vero Beach.