Nokia Mobile Phones, Inc. – Handicap Discrimination, Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), Employee.

Nokia Mobile Phones, Inc. – Handicap Discrimination, Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), Employee.

Handicap discriminationIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE







Plaintiff, PATRICK E. MAHONEY, SR., by and through his undersigned attorney, sues Defendants, NOKIA MOBILE PHONES, INC. and SPHERION CORPORATION, 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 handicap.
2. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000), exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney’s fees but not exceeding Seventy Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000).
3. The unlawful practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
4. Plaintiff resided in Brevard County, Florida at all times material hereto.
5. Defendant, NOKIA MOBILE PHONES, INC., is a national cellular mobile phone provider doing business in the State of Florida, which at the time of the acts complained of herein employed 15 or more persons and was engaged in manufacturing cellular mobile phones in Brevard County, Florida.
6. Defendant, SPHERION CORPORATION, is a national employment agency doing business in the State of Florida, which at the time of the acts complained of herein employed 15 or more persons and was engaged in the business of job placement in Brevard County, Florida.
7. Plaintiff was hired by Defendant, SPHERION CORPORATION, on or about January 2002 to work as an assembler in Defendant, NOKIA MOBILE PHONES, INC.’s manufacturing facilities in Melbourne, Florida.
8. On or about March 24, 2003, Defendants fired Plaintiff because of his handicap.
9. At all times, Plaintiff performed all duties assigned to him in a professionally competent manner, faithfully followed all reasonable instructions given to him by his supervisors, and abided by all of the rules and regulations of Defendants.
10. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer severe damage to his financial welfare and his employment prospects by reason of Defendants’ discriminatory actions against Plaintiff.
11. Plaintiff has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of Defendants’ actions.
12. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee.
13. Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
14. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
15. 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”.
16. On or about March 24, 2003, Plaintiff was fired from his employment with Defendants due to Defendants’ refusal to reasonably accommodate Plaintiff’s physical handicap pursuant to Plaintiff’s physicians’ requests for reasonable accommodation.
17. Plaintiff had: (a) one or more handicaps, i.e., a physical or mental impairment that substantially limited one or more of the major life activities of Plaintiff; (b) a record of such an impairment; or (c) was regarded as having such an impairment.
18. In spite of his handicap, Plaintiff was able to perform all of the essential functions of his position.
19. Defendants subjected Plaintiff, who is handicapped with, inter alia, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and disc protrusion to handicap discrimination by reason of his termination.
20. In subjecting Plaintiff to handicap discrimination, Defendants violated Chapter 760, Florida Statutes which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a qualified individual with a handicap, with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s handicap.
21. By terminating Plaintiff in lieu of reasonably accommodating him pursuant to his physicians’ requests, Defendants engaged in a discriminatory practice with malice and reckless indifference to the statutorily protected rights of Plaintiff.
22. Proximately and directly as a result of Defendants discrimination against Plaintiff on account of his handicap, Plaintiff has suffered damages consisting of severe emotional distress, loss of salary and other compensation.
23. The conduct of Defendants, NOKIA MOBILE PHONES, INC. and SPHERION CORPORATION, complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for his back pay (with interest), including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, together with such other increases to which he would be entitled, had he 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 nonpecuniary 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 and proper.

Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.

Dated this ____ day of July, 2004


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

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