Florida State Hospital & Jose Hernandez–(FCRA) Florida Civil Rights Act ,(EEOC) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Florida State Hospital & Jose Hernandez–(FCRA) Florida Civil Rights Act ,(EEOC) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Florida State HospitalU.S. DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE DIVISION

EFREN L. BALTAZAR,

PLAINTIFF,

v. CASE NO.:

FLORIDA STATE HOSPITAL &
JOSE HERNANDEZ,

DEFENDANTS.
______________________________/

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Comes now Plaintiff, Dr. Efren L. Baltazar, by and through his undersigned counsel and sues Defendant Florida State Hospital and Defendant Dr. Jose Hernandez and states as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1. This is an action by Plaintiff against his former employer, Defendant Florida State Hospital for race, national origin, and sex discrimination pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. §1983; the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et. seq.; and the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 (FCRA), Florida Statutes, Chapter 760. Plaintiff seeks damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
2. This is also an action under Florida common law against Defendant Florida State Hospital for negligent supervision. Plaintiff seeks damages against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
3. This is also an action against Plaintiff’s former co-worker at Florida State Hospital, Defendant Hernandez for defamation of character and tortious interference with an advantageous business relationship. Plaintiff seeks damages against Defendant Hernandez.
JURISDICTION
4. This action arises under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et. seq. The Court has original jurisdiction over the federal civil rights claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331.
5. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1367, the Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the state law civil rights, negligent supervision, defamation of character, and tortious interference with an advantageous business relationship claims. The facts regarding Plaintiff’s state law claims are so related to the federal civil rights claims that they form part of the same case or controversy.
VENUE
6. The venue of this Court over this controversy is proper based upon the claims arising in Chattahoochee, Gadsden County, Florida.
PARTIES
7. At all times material hereto, Plaintiff has resided in Leon County, Florida.
8. Plaintiff is Asian, Filipino and male.
9. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant Florida State Hospital as a Senior Physician for the time period July 1996 through April 2003.
10. At all times material hereto, Defendant Florida State Hospital was an employer located in Chattahoochee, Gadsden County, Florida.
11. At all times material hereto, Defendant Florida State Hospital employed fifteen (15) or more employees.
12. At all times material hereto, Defendant Hernandez resided in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida.
13. At all times material hereto, Defendant Hernandez was employed by Defendant Florida State Hospital as a Senior Physician at Chattahoochee, Gadsden County, Florida.
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
14. All conditions precedent to the institution and maintenance of this cause of action have been met or waived.
15. On December 1, 2003, Plaintiff filed a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, which was dual filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and more than one hundred and eighty (180) days have passed since the filing of said claim. A copy of said claim is attached hereto as Exhibit “A”.
16. On October 8, 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division issued its Right to Sue letter on behalf of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attached hereto as Exhibit “B”.
17. Plaintiff has retained the law firm of Allen & Trent, P.A. to represent him in this matter, and Plaintiff has agreed to pay said firm a reasonable attorneys’ fee for its services.
COUNT I
VIOLATION OF TITLE VII
HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT BECAUSE OF SEX

18. This is an action brought pursuant to Title VII against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
19. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 4, and 6 through 17, above.
20. Plaintiff worked at Florida State Hospital with Defendant Hernandez for the approximate period of time July 2001 through April 2003.
21. At all times material hereto, Defendant Hernandez created a hostile work environment because of sex by, inter alia, repeatedly amusing himself by making crude sexual jokes in Plaintiff’s presence and in the presence of female medical staff.
22. At all times material hereto, Defendant Hernandez created a hostile work environment because of sex by, inter alia, falsely telling female staff-members that Plaintiff was physically attracted to them, had made remarks of a sexual nature regarding their physique, and wanted to date them.
23. Plaintiff complained to management about Defendant Hernandez’ sexual misconduct and his attempts to involve and/or implicate Plaintiff in his expressions of sexual misconduct.
24. Plaintiff requested that Defendant Florida State Hospital either transfer him or Defendant Hernandez to another unit because of Defendant Hernandez’ sexual misconduct.
25. Defendant Florida State Hospital ignored Plaintiff’s complaints regarding Defendant Hernandez and his requests for a transfer to another unit.
26. Defendant Florida State Hospital failed to take prompt remedial action to stop Defendant Hernandez’ sexually harassing conduct after Plaintiff reported Defendant Hernandez’ actions.
27. Defendant Florida State Hospital caused Plaintiff to work in a sexually hostile work environment by requiring him to continue working with the perpetrator, Defendant Hernandez and by failing to cause Defendant Hernandez to cease his sexually harassing conduct.
28. Plaintiff did not encourage, welcome or consent to the harassment described in this complaint.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.

COUNT II
VIOLATION OF TITLE VII
DISPARATE TREATMENT BASED ON SEX

29. This is an action brought pursuant to Title VII against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
30. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 4, 6 through 17, and 20 through 28, above.
31. Defendant Florida State Hospital terminated Plaintiff on April 25, 2003, after two female employees (Mary Lu Smiley and Kaye Land) falsely reported that he had sexually harassed them by partaking with Defendant Hernandez in making sexual advances and crude sexual jokes at work.
32. Defendant Florida State Hospital investigated these women’s complaints against Defendant Hernandez regarding his sexual misconduct.
33. Defendant Florida State Hospital discriminated against Plaintiff because of his sex and deprived him of a term, privilege, and condition of employment when it ignored Plaintiff’s prior complaints against Defendant Hernandez regarding his sexual misconduct.
34. Defendant Florida State Hospital denied Plaintiff access to or relief under the hospital’s anti-sexual harassment/EEO policy, because he is male, in contrast to the manner in which it addressed Ms. Smiley’s and Ms. Land’s complaints against Defendant Hernandez.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
COUNT III
VIOLATION OF TITLE VII
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON SEX

35. This is an action brought pursuant to Title VII against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
36. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the allegation contained in paragraphs 1, 4, 6 through 17, 20 through 28, and 31 through 34, above.
37. Defendant Florida State Hospital terminated Plaintiff on April 25, 2003, after Ms. Smiley and Ms. Land falsely reported that he had sexually harassed them by partaking with Defendant Hernandez in making sexual advances and crude sexual jokes at work.
38. Defendant Florida State Hospital knew or should have known that the allegations of sexual harassment lodged against Plaintiff were false, inter alia, based on Plaintiff’s own prior complaints against Defendant Hernandez.
39. Defendant Florida State Hospital failed to properly investigate Ms. Smiley’s and Ms. Land’s false allegations against Plaintiff.
40. Defendant Florida State Hospital acted upon Ms. Smiley’s and Ms. Land’s false allegations against Plaintiff because they are female.
41. Defendant Florida State Hospital rejected Plaintiff’s denial of these women’s allegations of sexual harassment, presumed he engaged in sexual harassment, and terminated him because he is male.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
COUNT IV
VIOLATION OF THE FCRA
HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT BECAUSE OF SEX
42. This is an action brought pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
43. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 5 through 17, and 20 through 28, above.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
COUNT V
VIOLATION OF THE FCRA
DISPARATE TREATMENT BASED ON SEX

44. This is an action brought pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
45. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 5 through 17, 20 through 28, and 31 through 34, above.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
COUNT VI
VIOLATION OF THE FCRA
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON SEX

46. This is an action brought pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
47. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 5 through 17, 20 through 28, 31 through 34, and 37 through 41, above.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
COUNT VII
VIOLATION OF TITLE VII
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON RACE

48. This is an action brought pursuant to Title VII against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
49. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates the Plaintiff herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 4, and 6 through 17, above.
50. Defendant Florida State Hospital terminated Plaintiff on April 25, 2003.
51. The hospital officials responsible for executing Plaintiff’s termination were Administrator, Diane R. James, and Hospital Clinical Director Dr. Peter Ivory.
52. Defendant Florida State Hospital terminated Plaintiff based on the false allegations of sexual harassment raised against him by Ms. Smiley and Ms. Land.
53. Upon information and belief, Defendant Florida State Hospital has retained non-Asian employees against whom complaints of sexual harassment were raised.
54. Plaintiff was terminated on the basis of his race (Asian).
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
COUNT VIII
VIOLATION OF THE FCRA
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON RACE
55. This is an action brought under the Florida Civil Rights Act against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
56. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 5 through 17, and 50 through 54, above.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Backpay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.
COUNT IX
VIOLATION OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1866, 42 U.S.C. §1983
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON RACE

57. This is an action brought under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. §1983 against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
58. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 4, 6 through 17, and 50 through 54, above.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.

COUNT X
VIOLATION OF TITLE VII
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON NATIONAL ORIGIN

59. This is an action brought pursuant to Title VII against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
60. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 4, 6 through 17, and 50 through 52, above.
61. Upon information and belief, Defendant Florida State Hospital has retained non-Filipino employees against whom complaints of sexual harassment were raised.
62. Plaintiff was fired on the basis of his national origin (Filipino).
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.

COUNT XI
VIOLATION OF THE FCRA
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON NATIONAL ORIGIN

63. This is an action brought pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
64. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 5 through 17, and 50 through 52, above.
65. Upon information and belief, Defendant Florida State Hospital has retained non-Filipino employees against whom complaints of sexual harassment were raised.
66. Plaintiff was fired on the basis of his national origin (Filipino).
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Backpay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.

COUNT XII
VIOLATION OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1866, 42 U.S.C. §1983
DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION BASED ON NATIONAL ORIGIN

67. This is an action brought pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. §1983 against Defendant Florida State Hospital.
68. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 4, 6 through 17, and 50 through 52, above.
69. Upon information and belief, Defendant Florida State Hospital has retained non-Filipino employees against whom complaints of sexual harassment were raised.
70. Plaintiff was fired on the basis of his national origin (Filipino).
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
E. Reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action.

COUNT XIII
NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION

71. This is an action brought under the Florida common law of negligent supervision against Defendant Hernandez.
72. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 2, 5 through 17, and 21 through 22, above.
73. Plaintiff complained to management about Defendant Hernandez’ sexual misconduct described in this complaint and his attempts to involve and/or implicate Plaintiff in his expressions of sexual misconduct.
74. Defendant Florida State Hospital was required to properly investigate Plaintiff’s complaints against Defendant Hernandez.
75. Defendant Florida State Hospital failed to properly investigate Plaintiff’s complaints against Defendant Hernandez.
76. An appropriate investigation would have revealed Defendant Hernandez’ sexual misconduct and unfitness to continue working in Defendant Florida State Hospital’s Central Forensic Unit.
77. It was unreasonable for Defendant Florida States Hospital to have retained Defendant Hernandez based on the information it knew or should have known based on Plaintiff’s complaints.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Florida State Hospital for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Reinstatement.
B. Back pay plus interest.
C. Front pay.
D. Compensatory damages.
COUNT XIV
DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER

78. This is an action brought under the Florida common law of defamation of character against Defendant Hernandez.
79. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 3 and 5 through 17.
80. Plaintiff and Defendant Hernandez worked together in the Central Forensic Unit at Florida State Hospital for approximate period of time July 2001 through April 2003.
81. While employed at Florida State Hospital with Plaintiff in the Central Forensic Unit, Defendant Hernandez on numerous occasions falsely told Ms. Smiley and Ms. Land, inter alia, that Plaintiff was physically attracted to them, had made remarks of a sexual nature regarding their physique, and wanted to date them.
82. Plaintiff did not make the statements described in paragraph 81 to Defendant Hernandez, Ms. Smiley, Ms. Land, or any other individual.
83. Defendant Hernandez made these false statements to Ms. Smiley and Ms. Land to amuse himself and without reasonable care as to the truth or falsity of those statements.
84. As a proximate result of Defendant Hernandez’ false statements, Ms. Smiley and Ms. Land accused Plaintiff of sexual harassment.
85. Florida State Hospital terminated Plaintiff based on Ms. Smiley’s and Ms. Land’s accusations.
86. Plaintiff’s termination caused him to suffer damages in the form of, inter alia, loss of employment, salary and benefits.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Hernandez for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Loss of salary.
B. Loss of benefits.
C. Compensatory damages.
D. Punitive Damages.

COUNT XV
TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE WITH
ADVANTAGEOUS BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

87. This is an action brought under the Florida common law of tortious interference with an advantageous business relationship against Defendant Hernandez.
88. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates herein the factual allegations contained in paragraphs 3, 5 through 17, and 80 through 86.
89. Defendant Hernandez made the false statements described in paragraph 81 in disregard of the inflammatory nature of these statements.
90. Defendant Hernandez made the false statements described in paragraph 81 in disregard of the consequences that such statements would have on Plaintiff’s continued employment as a Senior Physician at Florida State Hospital.
91. Defendant Hernandez’ false statements described in paragraph 81 constitute a per se violation, because those statements impute conduct and characteristics of a lascivious nature in the workplace incompatible with the proper exercise of Plaintiff’s business, trade and profession as a Senior Physician at Florida State Hospital.
92. Defendant Hernandez’ false statements caused Florida State Hospital to disassociate itself from Plaintiff when it terminated him on April 25, 2003.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Hernandez for all damages to which he may be entitled, including, without limitation:
A. Loss of salary.
B. Loss of benefits.
C. Compensatory damages.
D. Punitive damages.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a trial by jury.

Dated: November ___, 2004 Respectfully submitted,
ALLEN & TRENT, P.A.

__________________________
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Adrienne E. Trent, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0060119
Daniel A. Perez, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 426903
Attorneys for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681

Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Status: Closed
Date Filed: 11/15/2004

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