IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
SHELLEY A. MCGRATH,
V. CASE NO.:
HD SUPPLY INC.
AND THE HOME DEPOT, INC.,
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Plaintiff, SHELLEY A. MCGRATH, by and through her undersigned attorney, sues Defendants, HD SUPPLY INC. AND THE HOME DEPOT, INC., (“Defendants” or “HD SUPPPLY”), and alleges the following:
1. This action is brought to obtain relief for discrimination committed by Defendants against Plaintiff on the basis of Plaintiff’s age, in violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act.
2. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000), but less than $75,000 inclusive of current attorney’s fees and costs.
3. The unlawful employment practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
4. Plaintiff resided in Brevard County, Florida at all times material hereto.
5. Defendants, HD SUPPLY INC., is a wholesale distribution company focused on serving professional customers in the infrastructure, construction, maintenance, repair and remodel markets doing business in the State of Florida, which at the time of the acts complained of herein employed fifteen (15) or more persons and was engaged in sale and supply of building and construction materials and products.
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
6. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
7. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
8. On August 16, 2007, Plaintiff filed a formal Charge of Discrimination with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and more than 180 days have expired without the FCHR making a determination on Plaintiff’s charge, a copy of which is attached to this complaint as Exhibit “A”.
9. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee.
10. On or about July 23, 2005, Plaintiff began working for Defendants as an Office Administrator.
11. Plaintiff worked for Defendants out of Defendants’ Melbourne, Florida location.
12. At all times material hereto, Plaintiff performed the duties assigned to her in a professionally competent manner, faithfully followed all reasonable instructions given to her by her supervisors, and abided by all of the rules and regulations of Defendants.
13. Defendants issued Plaintiff exceptional performance evaluations during her tenure with the company.
COUNT I: DISCRIMINATORY DISCHARGE
BECAUSE OF AGE
14. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates herein paragraphs 1 through 13, above.
15. Plaintiff’s date-of-birth is September 25, 1954.
16. On April 3, 2007, Plaintiff’s direct supervisor, Mark Norman with the authorization of the branch manager, Rusty Spradley, discharged Plaintiff from her employment.
17. Mr. Spradley is in his early 40’s and Mr. Norman is in his early 30’s and both managers are younger than Plaintiff.
18. In early March 2007, Mr. Spradley took over as the new branch manager; the Plaintiff was given a performance guide stating that she was going to be placed on a 30-day probation period.
19. Since that time, Mr. Spradley became branch manager, his discriminatory actions towards older employees caused four other longtime associates over the age of 50 to constructively terminate their positions and they had left the company and two employees over 50 years old, including the Plaintiff were terminated.
20. Plaintiff was put on probation as a pre-text for her not being liked by Mr. Spradley because of her age.
21. Plaintiff complained about the disparate treatment she was receiving because of her age to Mr. Norman on numerous occasions, though her concerns were not addressed.
22. Furthermore, on April 2, 2007, one day before Plaintiff’s termination, Plaintiff met with Mr. Norman and was made aware that she was going to be terminated. During this same meeting, Mr. Norman told the Plaintiff about how he had been “blown away” by a beautiful and young female applicant and had decided to offer her Plaintiff’s position and the Plaintiff was asked to stay employed with the Defendants for some additional time so that the Plaintiff could train the new younger attractive female applicant.
23. Defendants replaced Plaintiff with the attractive younger female employee that the Plaintiff has been asked to train.
24. Also, upon Plaintiff’s information and belief, the other employees over the age of 50 who had been constructively terminated and fired were all replaced by younger employees.
25. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer severe damage to her financial welfare and her employment prospects by reason of her discriminatory discharge based on age.
26. Plaintiff has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of Defendants’ discriminatory actions.
27. In subjecting Plaintiff to age discrimination, Defendants violated Florida law and Chapter 760, Florida Statutes which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any person because of age with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
28. The conduct of Defendants complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for her back pay (with interest), including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, together with such other increases to which she would be entitled, had she not been discriminatorily discharged;
B. Compensatory damages, including, but not limited to, damages for emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary loss;
C. Front pay;
D. Punitive Damages;
E. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein; and
F. Such other damages and relief as may be just, equitable, and proper.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.
Dated this ____ day of February, 2008.
ALLEN & ARCADIER, P.A.
Wayne Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No: 0110025
Maurice Arcadier, Esquire
Florida Bar No.:131180
Gina Silvestri, Esquire
Florida Bar No.:0037844
Attorneys for Plaintiff
2815 W. New Haven Ave., Suite 304
W. Melbourne, Florida 32904
Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Date Filed: 02/28/2008
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.