Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc–(FCHR) Florida Commission on Human Relations, (EEOC) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Age Discrimination, Employment.

Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc–(FCHR) Florida Commission on Human Relations, (EEOC) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Age Discrimination, Employment.

Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc caseIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY,
FLORIDA

JOANNE L. AMOS

Plaintiff,

v. Case No.:

BELLSOUTH TELECOMMUNICATIONS,
INC.,

Defendant.

___________________________________ /

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Plaintiff, JoAnn L. Amos, by and through her undersigned counsel, sues Defendant, BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., (hereinafter referred to as “BellSouth”), 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.

PARTIES

3. Plaintiff resides in Brevard County, Florida, and has at all times material herein resided in Brevard County, Florida.
4. Defendant, BellSouth, upon information and belief, is a corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Georgia. Defendant, BellSouth is registered to do business in the State of Florida.

STATEMENT OF CLAIM

5. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee.
6. Plaintiff was hired by Defendant, BellSouth on July 12, 1965.
7. At the time of her termination, Plaintiff was employed by Defendant BellSouth, as a Frame Attendant.
8. On or about December 1, 1996, Plaintiff learned that her position was among those being “surplused” (eliminated) by Defendant.
9. On or about December 17, 1996, Plaintiff received notice from the Defendant’s North Florida Operations Manager that Plaintiff’s employment was being terminated by Defendant on or about December 17, 1996.
10. On or about June 6, 1997, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination against the Defendant, BellSouth, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), attached hereto as Exhibit “A”, alleging gender and age discrimination in employment. The Charge was timely filed.
11. Pursuant to the Work Share Agreement between the EEOC and Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”), Plaintiff’s Charge of Discrimination was dual-filed with the FCHR when she filed her charge with the EEOC.
12. More than one hundred eighty (180) days have expired since the filing of Plaintiff’s Charge of Discrimination.
13. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
14. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.

COUNT I
GENDER DISCRIMINATION
STATE CLAIM

15. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 14 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
16. This action is brought pursuant to Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.
17. Defendant is an employer within the meaning of Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, having employed fifteen (15) or more employees for each working day in each of twenty (20) or more calendar weeks in the current or proceeding calendar year, at all times relevant to this action.
18. Plaintiff, a female, has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of gender, by Defendant, BellSouth. The gender discrimination consisted of the intentional replacement of Defendant’s Frame Attendants, most of whom were female, including Plaintiff, with Electronic Technicians, most of whom were males and much younger than the Plaintiff and other Frame Attendants.
19. As of December 1, 1996, Defendant employed five (5) Frame Attendants in Brevard County, four (4) of whom, including Plaintiff, were female.
20. On or about December 1, 1996, Plaintiff was advised that, due to budget cuts, Defendant, BellSouth, would “surplus” all Frame Attendants in its North Florida territory the following quarter. This meant that all five (5) Frame Attendants in Brevard County would be surplused, or terminated.
21. On or about December 17, 1996, Plaintiff met with the Defendant, BellSouth’s, Operations Manager for North Florida. At that time Plaintiff was informed that she and the other Frame Attendants employed by Defendant were being surplused due to the Defendant’s decision to downsize, in an effort to cut costs. The Operations Manager then told Plaintiff that BellSouth’s Frame Attendants were being replaced by Electronic Technicians, because it was Defendant’s intention to hire “younger more-educated employees” into its workforce.
22. The five (5) Frame Attendants of Defendant in Brevard County, four (4) of whom were female, including Plaintiff were replaced by Electronic Technicians, all of whom were males.
23. In spite of Defendant’s articulated reason for surplusing its Frame Attendants , i.e., to reduce costs. Defendant hired higher-paid Electronic Technicians to perform the same duties which the Frame Attendants had previously performed. These male Electronic Technicians were paid over one hundred dollars more per week than the predominantly female Frame Attendants, including Plaintiff, had been paid.
24. Plaintiff had never been disciplined for her job performance during her employment with Defendant.
25. Plaintiff’s last date of work with Defendant was May 31, 1997.
26. As a result of the gender discrimination perpetrated by Defendant, Plaintiff lost her income from a job she had held for nearly thirty-two years and has sustained emotional damages in the form of mental anguish and loss of dignity.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which she may be entitled, including without limitation:
A. Back pay from May 31, 1997 to the present;
B. Compensatory damages for mental anguish and loss of dignity;
C. Punitive damages;
D. Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of this action.

COUNT II
AGE DISCRIMINATION
STATE CLAIM

27. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
28. At the time of her notice of being “surplused” from workforce of Defendant Plaintiff was forty-nine (49) years of age, having been born on May 3, 1947.
29. At the time of their notice of being “surplused”, Defendant’s five (5) Frame Attendants in Brevard County, including Plaintiff, were all in excess of forty-five (45) years of age, and each had more than twenty-five (25) years of service for Defendant.
30. The five (5) Frame Attendants of Defendant in Brevard County, including Plaintiff, were in fact surplused during the first quarter of 1997 and replaced by Electronic Technicians, all of whom were younger than any of the Frame Attendants employed by Defendant in Brevard County.
31. Precisely the same duties which had been required of the Frame Attendants by Defendant are now required of the Electronic Technicians, at a substantially higher rate of pay.
32. Defendant intentionally replaced its Frame Attendants with Electronic Technicians because the Frame Attendants, as a group, were older and nearer to retirement than Electronic Technicians. The purpose of the surplus was to save the Defendant substantial cost due to the fact that most of its Frame Attendants were older employees, and within five (5) years of the full vesting of their retirement benefits.
33. Plaintiff and other Brevard County Frame Attendants were informed, at the time they were “surplused”, that it was Defendant’s goal to cultivate a younger workforce, and that replacing Frame Attendants with Electronic Technicians would help accomplish this goal.
34. By surplusing the older, predominantly female Frame Attendants, including Plaintiff, allegedly because of budget cuts, and subsequently rehiring younger, higher-paid, mostly male Electronic Technicians to perform the same work, Defendant intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her age.
35. As a result of the age discrimination perpetrated by Defendant, Plaintiff lost her income from a job she held for nearly thirty-two (32) years, and has sustained emotional damages in the form of mental anguish and loss of dignity.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which she may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Back pay from May 31, 1997 to the present;
B. Compensatory damages for mental anguish and loss of dignity;
C. Punitive damages;
D. Reasonable attorney’s fees and cost of this action.

COUNT III
GENDER DISCRIMINATION
FEDERAL CLAIM
36. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 10, and 18-26 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
37. The actions described in this Complaint constitute a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e-2, regarding unlawful employment practices.
38. Defendant, BellSouth, is an employer as defined within 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e.
39. Plaintiff was issued her Dismissal and Notice of Rights from the EEOC, attached hereto as Exhibit “B”, on July 22, 1998.
40. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
41. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
42. The Defendant willfully, knowingly and intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her gender.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which she may be entitled, including, without limitation:
E. Back pay from May 31, 1997 to the present;
F. Compensatory damages for mental anguish and loss of dignity;
G. Punitive damages;
H. Reasonable attorney’s fees and cost of this action.

COUNT IV
AGE DISCRIMINATION
FEDERAL CLAIM

43. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 10, 17, 20, 21 and 28 through 33 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
44. This action is brought pursuant to 29 U.S.C. Section 621 et seq., the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).
45. At all times material hereto, Defendant was engaged in an industry affecting commerce and had twenty (20) or more employees for each working day in each of twenty (20) or more calendar weeks in the then-current or preceding calendar year. Defendant was and is therefore an employer within the meaning of the ADEA.
46. Plaintiff was issued her Dismissal and Notice of Rights from the EEOC on July 22, 1998.
47. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
48. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
49. The surplus, or termination, of Plaintiff was motivated solely by the intent of Defendant to discriminate against Plaintiff and its other Frame Attendants on the basis of their ages.
50. In its surplus of Plaintiff, Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her age.
51. By surplusing Plaintiff in this discriminatory fashion, Defendant violated the provisions of 29 U.S.C. Section 623(a)(1), which makes it unlawful for any employer to “discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individuals age”.
52. The conduct of Defendant complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff, and accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to recover statutory liquidated damages from Defendant.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which she may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. All monetary damages to which she is entitled, including statutory liquidated damages;
B. Reasonable attorney’s fees and cost of this action.
C. Such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper;

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.

DATED this _______ day of October, 1998.

_______________________________
WAYNE L. ALLEN, Trial Counsel
Florida Bar No. 110025
Wayne L. Allen, PA Attorney for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Ste. 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (407) 254-7550
Fax: (407) 242-1681