Coinstar Inc. – Age Discrimination, Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).

Coinstar Inc. – Age Discrimination, Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).

Age discriminationIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF
THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL
CIRCUIT IN AND FOR
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

ALBERT GARZA,

Plaintiff,

v. CASE NO.:

COINSTAR, INC.,

Defendant.
_________________________________ /

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR A JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff, ALBERT GARZA, by and through his undersigned counsel, sues Defendant, COINSTAR, INC., and alleges as follows:
1. This is an action for damages that exceed Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) but less than Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00), inclusive of costs, interest, and attorney’s fees as of time of filing.
2. The unlawful employment practices alleged below were committed in Florida, including Brevard County.
3. Plaintiff is a 63-year-old male who has ties to Brevard County.
4. Defendant, COINSTAR, INC., is located in Brevard County, Florida and at the time of the acts complained of herein, employed 15 or more persons.
5. Plaintiff is a Hispanic male.
6. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay a reasonable fee.
7. On or about May 30, 2007, Plaintiff filed a claim with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging discrimination based on national origin, and age as well as retaliation.
8. On April 23, 2008, the EEOC sent a Dismissal and Notice of Rights to the Plaintiff. (A copy of Plaintiff’s EEOC Dismissal and Notice of Rights is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “A”).
9. Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
10. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
COUNT I – AGE DISCRIMINATION
11. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 10 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
12. This is an action for damages for age discrimination in violation of Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, the Florida Civil Rights Act.
13. The conduct of the Defendant was willful, malicious, oppressive and in complete disregard of the rights of the Plaintiff.
14. This action is brought to secure to Plaintiff the benefits of the Florida Civil Rights Act, Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against any individual with respect to their compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment due to his or her age.
15. Plaintiff began working for Defendant on or about March of 1995 as a general manager.
16. Plaintiff was promoted to regional manager on or about August of 1998.
17. On or about July of 2006, Plaintiff was demoted to team leader, which resulted in Plaintiff not being eligible for pay increases and elimination of all bonus compensation.
18. The demotion of Plaintiff was motivated by the intent of Defendant to discriminate against Plaintiff on the basis of age.
19. The employer’s adverse employment decision was motivated because of Plaintiff’s age.
20. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has suffered damages to his financial welfare and his employment prospects, by reason of Defendant’s discriminatory actions against the Plaintiff.
21. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff suffered loss of self-esteem and emotional distress.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. An Order prohibiting the discriminatory practice and providing affirmative relief from the effects of the practice.
B. Back pay.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages, including but not limited to mental anguish, loss of dignity, and any other intangible injuries.
E. Punitive damages.
F. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
G. Such other damages to which Plaintiff may be entitled.
COUNT II – NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION
22. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 21 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
23. This is an action for damages for race and ethnic background discrimination in violation of Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
24. The Defendant discriminated against and harassed Plaintiff on the basis of his race and national origin in the following manner: Plaintiff was not entitled to yearly evaluations that Non-Hispanic employees received; Defendant told other employees there were too many Hispanic employees employed by Defendant and Defendant was trying to get rid of Hispanics to hire Caucasian employees; Plaintiff was excluded from meetings; and Plaintiff was the only Hispanic manager employed by Defendant.
25. In its disparate treatment of Plaintiff, the Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of his race and national origin.
26. 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 race.
27. Plaintiff has been deprived of benefits which were afforded to Caucasian employees, has been deprived of his job because he was constructively discharged, and Plaintiff has suffered mental anguish, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering from the Defendant’s discrimination.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, but not limited to:
A. Judgment for back pay, front pay, expenses incurred by Plaintiff in his 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.
COUNT III – RETALIATION
28. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 27 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
29. This is an action for damages for violation of Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, the Florida Civil Rights Act.
30. On or about June of 2006, Plaintiff complained to Defendant’s Human Resource Department of Defendant’s age discrimination and race and ethnic background discrimination committed against Plaintiff.
31. On or about July of 2006, Defendant demoted Plaintiff from a regional manager position to a team leader position as a direct result of Plaintiff’s complaints to the Human Resource Department.
32. On or about May 30, 2007, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
33. Plaintiff and Defendant were in discussions of a possible settlement of the dispute brought before the EEOC.
34. Even though Defendant learned Plaintiff started his own business many months beforehand, only after discussions ceased of a possible settlement, Defendant brought an action against Plaintiff for allegedly violating a non-competition agreement.
35. As a result of retaliation perpetrated by Defendant against Plaintiff for demoting Plaintiff for his complaints to the Human Resource Department and filing charges of race and age discrimination, Plaintiff has sustained emotional damages in the form of severe mental anguish, emotional distress and loss of dignity and was forced to resign from his position due to the actions of Defendant.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, but not limited to:
A. Judgment for back pay, front pay, expenses incurred by Plaintiff in his 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 October, 2008.

ALLEN & ARCADIER, P.A.

________________________
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0110025
Mauricio Arcadier, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 131180
Lauren Cooney, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 55560
Attorneys for Plaintiff
2815 W. New Haven, Suite 304
Melbourne, Florida 32904
Phone: (321) 953-5998
Fax: (321) 953-6075

Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Status: Closed
Date Filed: 10/14/2008

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.