M.C Test Service, Inc. – Race Discrimination Federal Claim, Unlawful Employment

M.C Test Service, Inc. – Race Discrimination Federal Claim, Unlawful Employment

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

RHONDA L. ELKINS, Case No.

Plaintiff,

v.

M.C. TEST SERVICE, INC., d/b/a M.C. ASSEMBLY & TEST,

Defendant.

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

COUNT I
RACE DISCRIMINATION
FEDERAL CLAIM
Plaintiff, RHONDA L. ELKINS, by and through her undersigned attorney, sues Defendant, M.C. TEST SERVICE, INC. dba M.C. ASSEMBLY & TEST, and alleges as follows:
1. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of interest, costs and attorney’s fees.
2. This action is brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.
3. The unlawful employment practices alleged below were committed in Brevard County, Florida.
4. Plaintiff, RHONDA L. ELKINS (hereinafter “ELKINS”), is a resident of Brevard County, Florida.
5. Defendant, M.C. TEST SERVICES, INC. d/b/a M.C. ASSEMBLY AND TEST, (hereinafter M.C. ASSEMBLY) is a Florida corporation doing business in Brevard County, Florida.
6. Plaintiff ELKINS was employed by Defendant from 1992 to June 5, 1997. Plaintiff was employed in the position of Receptionist/Secretary.
7. Plaintiff ELKINS is an African-American female.
8. While employed by Defendant, Plaintiff ELKINS was discriminated against on the basis of her race. Such discrimination consisted of the unequal treatment of African-American and Caucasian employees, including Plaintiff, by M.C. ASSEMBLY, and of racial harassment perpetrated by the employees of M.C. ASSEMBLY.
9. While Plaintiff ELKINS was employed by Defendant, Caucasian employees of M.C. ASSEMBLY were allowed to arrive at work late without being sanctioned while African-American employees were written up for being late. The clock used in determining the time was the supervisor’s personal watch, which was set five minutes ahead of the correct time. This was done with the approval of management of M.C. ASSEMBLY.
10. While Plaintiff ELKINS was employed by Defendant, Caucasian employees of M.C. ASSEMBLY were given raises and promotions while similarly qualified African-American employees, including the Plaintiff, were not given raises and promotions.
11. Plaintiff brought her concerns about the unfair treatment she was receiving to the attention of company management, but nothing was done by management to address her concerns or change the unfair employment practices. Plaintiff encountered additional discrimination and retaliation after making a complaint with M.C. ASSEMBLY, which included not being allowed to return work after her maternity leave.
12. On August 4, 1997, the Plaintiff timely filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) charging the Defendant with discriminating against the Plaintiff on the basis of her race and sex. (A copy of Plaintiff’s EEOC complaint is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “A”.)
13. On July 30, 1999, the Plaintiff received a letter of determination that there was sufficient evidence to support a violation based on race.
14. On August 30, 1999, the EEOC sent a notification of Right to Sue to the Plaintiff. (A copy of Plaintiff’s EEOC Notice of Right to Sue is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “B”.)
15. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies.
16. Because of the disparate treatment sustained by the African-American employees of M.C. ASSEMBLY, including Plaintiff, Plaintiff has been deprived of benefits which were afforded to Caucasian employees but denied to African-American employees; has been deprived of employment because M.C. Assembly refused to return her to work after her maternity leave; and has suffered mental anguish, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering from the harassment she experienced at M.C. ASSEMBLY.
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.
COUNT II
RACIAL HARASSMENT AND HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT

FEDERAL CLAIM

17. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 16 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
18. This action is brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.
19. While employed by Defendant, Plaintiff ELKINS has been subjected to a hostile work environment at her place of employment, M.C. ASSEMBLY, and has been racially harassed in violation of her civil rights.
20. The harassment consisted of unfair treatment, discriminatory employment decisions and separate policy enforcement directed toward African-Americans at M.C. ASSEMBLY in Plaintiff’s presence, with the intent of insulting and belittling Plaintiff and other African-Americans who were employed by or seeking employment with M.C. ASSEMBLY.
21. The unfair treatment, discriminatory employment decisions and separate policy enforcement directed toward African-Americans served no other purpose than to harass and hurt the intended recipients including Plaintiff. The unfair treatment, discriminatory employment decisions and separate policy enforcement directed did, in fact, harass and hurt Plaintiff, and resulted in mental anguish, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering in addition to the loss of Plaintiff’s job.
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) 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.
COUNT III

DISCRIMINATION BASED UPON SEX

FEDERAL CLAIM

22. This is an action for violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e et seq.
23. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 7, 12, 14, and 15 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
24. By discriminating in such fashion against Plaintiff based upon her sex, Defendant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e et seq., which makes it unlawful for an employer to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s sex.” or “to limit, segregate, or classify [its] employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s sex.”
25. Plaintiff, a female, was subjected to discrimination based upon her gender during the course of her employment by Defendant.
26. The sexual discrimination of Plaintiff by Defendant consisted of, but was not limited to the following:
a. Defendant would call Plaintiff’s mother when Plaintiff missed work due to complications with her pregnancy, even though Plaintiff did not live with her mother.
b. Defendant refused to allow Plaintiff to return to her previous position with the company after she returned from maternity leave
c. Defendant refused to allow Plaintiff to return to any other position with the company after she returned form maternity leave.
27. Defendant willfully, knowingly, and intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her sex.
28. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has suffered damages consisting or severe emotional distress, loss of salary, and other compensation.
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) 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.

COUNT IV

RETALIATION

FEDERAL CLAIM

29. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 12, 14 through 16 and 19 through 21 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
30. This action is brought pursuant to Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000e-3, which prohibits covered employers from retaliating against an employee for complaining about practices which the employee reasonably and in good faith believes are discriminatory.
31. On or about October 18, 1996, Plaintiff wrote and gave a formal complaint to the President of M.C. ASSEMBLY and Plaintiff’s supervisor concerning unfair treatment, harassment and discrimination against Plaintiff and other African-American’s perpetrated by personnel at M.C. ASSEMBLY and in particular by Vicki Jethro, Human Resource Administrator. Plaintiff informed M.C. ASSEMBLY of the disparate treatment between African-American and Caucasian employees in a number of areas including, arriving to work late, taking time off for medical reasons and pay raises. Plaintiff reasonably believed these employment practices of Defendant were discriminatory.
32. Defendant retaliated against Plaintiff because of her opposition to employment practices she believed to be discriminatory.
33. Defendant did not respond to Plaintiff’s letter or take any action on Plaintiff’s complaint.
34. Because Plaintiff made a formal complaint to the Defendant and in retaliation for her making the complaint, the unfair treatment, harassment and discrimination continued and Plaintiff was not allowed to return to work after being on maternity leave.
35. As a result of the retaliatory actions of Defendant, Plaintiff was subjected to needless harassment and discrimination and lost her job, causing her mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering and loss of dignity.
36. Defendant, M.C. Assembly willingly, knowingly and intentionally retaliated against Plaintiff.
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) 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.
COUNT V
RACE DISCRIMINATION
STATE CLAIM
37. This action is brought pursuant to Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
38. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1, and 3 through 16 of this Complaint, as if set forth in full herein.
39. 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. (A copy of Plaintiff’s Florida Commission on Human Relations dual filing certification is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “C”.)
40. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies.
41. The disparate treatment alleged herein was motivated solely by the intent of Defendant, to discriminate against Plaintiff on the basis of her race.
42. In its disparate treatment of Plaintiff’ the Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her race.
43. By its disparate treatment of Plaintiff, Defendant violated the provisions of Section 760.10(1), Florida Statutes, 1993 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.
44. Because of the disparate treatment sustained by the African-American employees of M.C. ASSEMBLY, including Plaintiff, Plaintiff has been deprived of benefits which were afforded to caucasian employees but denied to African-American employees, has been deprived of her job because her supervisor refused to return her to work after her maternity leave, and Plaintiff has suffered mental anguish, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering from the harassment perpetrated by the supervisory personnel at M.C. ASSEMBLY.
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) 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.
COUNT VI
RACIAL HARASSMENT AND HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT
STATE CLAIM
45. This action is brought pursuant to Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
46. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1, 3 through 16, 19 through 21, 39, and 40 of this Complaint, as if set forth in full herein.
47. The racial harassment alleged herein was motivated solely by the intent of Defendant, to discriminate against Plaintiff on the basis of her race.
48. In its racial harassment of Plaintiff, the Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her race.
49. By its racial harassment of Plaintiff, Defendant violated the provisions of Section 760.10(1), Florida Statutes, which makes it unlawful for an employer to limit, segregate or classify employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities, or adversely affect any individual’s status as an employee, because of such individual’s race.
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) 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.
COUNT VII
DISCRIMINATION BASED UPON SEX

STATE CLAIM

50. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1, 3 through 7, 12, 14, 15, 39 and 40 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
51. Plaintiff, a female, was subjected to discrimination based upon her gender during the course of her employment by Defendant.
52. The sexual discrimination of Plaintiff by Defendant consisted of, but was not limited to the following:
a. Defendant would call Plaintiff’s mother when Plaintiff missed work due to complications with her pregnancy, even though Plaintiff did not live with her mother.
b. Defendant refused to allow Plaintiff to return to her previous position with the company after she returned from maternity leave
c. Defendant refused to allow Plaintiff to return to any other position with the company after she returned form maternity leave.
53. By discriminating in such fashion against Plaintiff based upon her sex, Defendant violated Section 760.10, Florida Statutes, which makes it unlawful for an employer to “discharge or to 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 sex .”
54. Defendant willfully, knowingly, and intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her sex.
55. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has suffered damages consisting or severe emotional distress, loss of salary, and other compensation.
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) 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.

COUNT VIII

RETALIATION

STATE CLAIM

56. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1, 3 through 16, 18 through 21, 39 and 40 of this Complaint, as if set forth in full herein.
57. This action is brought pursuant to Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
58. By its reprisal against Plaintiff, Defendant violated the provisions of Section 760.10(7), Florida Statutes, which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any person because that person has opposed any practice which is an unlawful employment practice under Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, or because that person has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
59. Because of the retaliatory actions of Defendant, Plaintiff has been deprived of benefits which were afforded to Caucasian employees but denied to African-American employees; has been deprived of her job because her employer did not allow her to return to her job after her maternity leave; and has suffered mental anguish, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering from the harassment perpetrated by the supervisory personnel at M.C. ASSEMBLY.
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) 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 November, 1999.

Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Adrienne E. Trent, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 060119
Attorneys For Plaintiff
Wayne L. Allen, P.A.
700 N. Wickham Road
Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681