IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
v. CASE NO.:
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION,
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff, TERESA LOPEZ (hereinafter “Lopez”), by and through her undersigned counsel, sues Defendant, BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION and alleges as follows:
1. This is an action for damages that exceed $15,000.00, exclusive of costs, interest, and attorney’s fees.
2. The unlawful employment practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
3. Plaintiff resides in Brevard County, Florida, and has at all times material herein, resided in Brevard County, Florida.
4. Defendant, BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION is a Delaware Corporation doing business in Brevard County, Florida and at the time of the acts complained of herein, employed 15 or more persons.
5. Plaintiff Lopez is a Hispanic female of Puerto Rican decent.
6. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay a
7. On or about May 6, 2002, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (attached hereto as Exhibit “A”) alleging discrimination based on national origin.
8. Plaintiff’s Charge of Discrimination was prepared by the Orlando Human Relations Department and was forwarded to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accompanied by Plaintiff’s verified affidavit.
9. Pursuant to the Work Share Agreement between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Florida Commission on Human Relations, Plaintiff’s charge of discrimination was dual-filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations when she filed her charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
10. More than one hundred eighty (180) days have passed since the filing of said complaint, and the Florida Commission on Human Relations has not entered a determination on Plaintiff’s claim.
11. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
12. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION
13. This is an action for damages for national origin discrimination in violation of Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, The Florida Civil Rights Act.
14. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 12 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
15. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant and it’s predecessors from approximately June 1996 until April 22, 2002.
16. From approximately 1999 to April 2002 Plaintiff made numerous requests to be promoted and placed in Defendant’s Branch Manager in training “MAPS” program. Plaintiff was not placed in the “MAPS” program and those who were placed in the “MAPS” program were not Hispanic and were less qualified and had less experience than Plaintiff, who is Hispanic.
17. In 2001, Plaintiff was told not to apply for a position of Customer Service Representative at the West Melbourne Branch by her manager. The employee who was placed in the position of Customer Service Representative was not Hispanic.
18. On or about December 2001, Plaintiff’s manager recommended that Plaintiff make a lateral move to the position of a Senior Personnel Banker at the Indian Harbor Beach Branch. Plaintiff did not apply for the position and instead elected to stay in her position of Senior Personnel Banker at the West Melbourne Branch.
19. In January 2002, within a month of Plaintiff’s decision not to apply for the lateral move to another branch, Plaintiff received a written warning from her manager in which she was written up for the an error involving a non-Hispanic employee, who was not written up. Plaintiff has also received discipline for alleged policy and procedure violations, while other employees who made similar policy and procedure violations were not disciplined.
20. Plaintiff was disciplined for providing incorrect policy and procedure information even though she was denied training and access to updated policy and procedure information, which was provided to other non-Hispanic employees.
21. Dress code and other appearance guidelines were strictly enforced against Plaintiff and other Hispanic employees but not against non-Hispanic employees.
22. On or about April 22, 2002, Plaintiff was terminated by Defendant from her position as a Senior Personal Banker at the West Melbourne Branch of Bank of America.
23. Plaintiff was terminated after making an alleged policy violation that was also made by a non-Hispanic employee, who was not terminated.
24. Defendant violated the provisions of Section 760.10(1), Florida Statutes, which makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or fail or refuse to hire any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s national origin.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which she may be entitled, including, but not limited to:
A. Judgement for back pay, front pay, expenses incurred by Plaintiff in her job search, and loss of benefits, including, but not limited to, all money paid for health benefits and loss of vacation entitlement;
B. Compensatory damages including, but not limited to, mental anguish, loss of dignity and other intangible injuries;
C. Punitive damages;
D. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein; and
E. All other damages to which Plaintiff may be entitled.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.
DATED this _____day of August 2003.
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Adrienne E. Trent, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0060119
Wayne L. Allen & Associates, P.A.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681
Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Date Filed: 08/13/2003
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.