The Storage Place, LTD – Age Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”)

The Storage Place, LTD – Age Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”)

The Storage Place, Ltd caseIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

PHYLLIS PALMER,

Plaintiff,

vs. CASE NO.

THE STORAGE PLACE, LTD., d/b/a
The A/C STORAGE PLACE,

Defendant.
___________________________/

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff, PHYLLIS PALMER, by and through her undersigned counsel, sues Defendant, THE STORAGE PLACE, LTD., d/b/a THE A/C STORAGE PLACE (hereinafter called “The Storage Place, Ltd.”), and alleges as follows:

JURISDICTION AND PARTIES

1. This is an action for damages that exceed $15,000.00, exclusive of costs,

interest, and attorney’s fees.

2. The unlawful employment practices alleged below were committed within

Brevard County, Florida.

3. Plaintiff is and has been a resident of Brevard County, Florida, at all times material herein.

4. Defendant, The Storage Place, Ltd., upon information and belief, is a Florida Limited Partnership and at the time of the acts complained of herein, was registered and authorized to do business in the State of Florida and employed fifteen (15) or more persons.

STATEMENT OF CLAIM

GENERAL FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

5. Plaintiff Palmer was hired by The Storage Place, Ltd. on or about August, 1994. Plaintiff Palmer worked as an Office Clerk for The Storage Place, Ltd. until January 1996, and then from February, 1996 until her termination from The Storage Place, Ltd., on or about August 28, 1999. At the time of her termination by The Storage Place, Ltd., Plaintiff was employed as a part-time Office Clerk renting storage units.
6. Plaintiff Palmer is a female whose date of birth is August 8, 1929.
7. On or about October 15, 1998, The Storage Place, Ltd. entered into a leasing arrangement with an out-of-state tenant. The arrangement was made by phone between The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Office Manager and the out-of-state tenant. At the time the lease arrangement was made, The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Office Manager advised the out-of-state tenant that when she came to Florida she would need to sign the lease “to make it legal”. The tenant explained that her daughter would arrive at The Storage Place, Ltd.’s office the following weekend to pay for the unit and supervise the move of the tenant’s property into the unit. Because she was not scheduled to work on the weekend, The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Office Manager asked Plaintiff Palmer to get the daughter’s signature on the lease when she came in, and to explain to the tenant’s daughter that the tenant herself would also have to sign the lease when she got to Florida.
8. The lease was signed by the tenant’s daughter and Plaintiff Palmer on or about October 17, 1998, when the daughter came to pay for the unit. As she was instructed to do by The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Office Manager, Plaintiff Palmer advised the tenant’s daughter that the tenant would need to come in to the office and sign the lease herself as soon as she got to Florida.
9. On or about June 1999, after discovering that the tenant referred to in paragraph 7, supra, was overdue on her rent, The Storage Place, Ltd. foreclosed on the tenant’s unit, and sold the tenant’s property. When the tenant discovered what had happened, she then threatened legal action against The Storage Place, Ltd.
10. On or about June 1999, The Storage Place, Ltd. discovered that while Plaintiff Palmer had obtained the signature of the tenant’s daughter when the property was moved into the unit, as instructed by The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Office Manger, the Office Manager had later failed to obtain the signature of the tenant of the unit. At the time it foreclosed on the unit in question, it had no written lease agreement with the tenant herself.
11. On or about August 26, 1999, The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Office Manager informed Plaintiff Palmer that The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Owner had told her (the Office Manager) that he wanted to hire a new employee. When the Office Manager told the Owner that she didn’t have any openings for new employees and that she had met with the person and didn’t want to hire her anyway, she was told by The Storage Place, Ltd.’s Owner that it was his business decision and that they were “going to let Plaintiff Palmer go”.
12. On or about August 28, 1999, Plaintiff Palmer, aged 70, was terminated by The Storage Place, Ltd.
13. Plaintiff Palmer was subsequently replaced by a younger female, who was approximately in her mid-fifties, and whom the Office Manager of The Storage Place, Ltd. was directed to hire by its Owner. At the time of her termination, Plaintiff Palmer was scheduled to have surgery and be out of work for approximately 2 weeks.
14. On or about April 21, 2000, Plaintiff Palmer filed charges of discrimination against The Storage Place, Ltd. with both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”), alleging race and age discrimination (compound Exhibit ’A’ attached hereto).
15. Plaintiff Palmer was issued a Dismissal and Notice of Rights in regard to her discrimination charges against The Storage Place, Ltd. by the EEOC on August 22, 2000 Exhibit ’B’ attached hereto).
16. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee.

17. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
18. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
19. At all times during her employment with The Storage Place, Ltd., Plaintiff Palmer performed all duties assigned to her by The Storage Place, Ltd. in a professionally competent manner.
20. Plaintiff Palmer has suffered and continues to suffer damage to her financial welfare by reason of The Storage Place, Ltd.’s discriminatory actions against her.
21. Plaintiff Palmer has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of The Storage Place, Ltd.’s actions.

COUNT I

VIOLATION OF SECTION 760.10, FLORIDA STATUTES

STATE AGE DISCRIMINATION CLAIM

22. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 21 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
23. This action is brought pursuant to Section 760.10, Florida Statutes, the

Florida Civil Rights Act.
24. More than one hundred eighty (180) days have expired since the filing of Plaintiff’s FCHR charge of discrimination and the FCHR has not entered a determination on Plaintiff’s claims.
25. The actions of The Storage Place, Ltd. as alleged in paragraphs 7 through 13, supra, constitute discrimination against Plaintiff Palmer by The Storage Place, Ltd. based upon her age. By discriminating in such fashion against the Plaintiff, The Storage Place, Ltd. violated Section 760.10, Florida Statutes, which makes it unlawful “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 age.”
26. The conduct of The Storage Place, Ltd. as complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of the Plaintiff.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for her back pay, including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, reduced by any amounts she may have received from subsequent employment, had she not been discriminatorily discharged;
B. Compensatory damages, including, but not limited to, damages for mental anguish, loss of dignity, and any other intangible injuries;
C. Reinstatement, or front pay in lieu thereof;
D. Punitive damages;
E. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein;
F. Such other damages and relief as may be just and proper.

COUNT II

VIOLATION OF THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT

FEDERAL AGE DISCRIMINATION CLAIM

27. This is an action for violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 621, et seq.
28. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 21 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
29. The actions of The Storage Place, Ltd. as alleged in paragraphs 7 through 13, supra, constitute discrimination against Plaintiff by The Storage Place, Ltd. By discriminating in such fashion against the Plaintiff, The Storage Place, Ltd. violated the Age Discrimination In Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 621, et seq., which makes it unlawful for an employer “to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age.”
30. The conduct of The Storage Place, Ltd. as complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of the Plaintiff.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for her back pay, including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, lessened by any amounts she may have received from subsequent employment, had she not been discriminatorily discharged;
B. Reinstatement, or front pay in lieu thereof;
C. Liquidated damages;
D. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein;
E. Such other damages and relief as may be just and proper.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiffs demand a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.

DATED this _____day of October, 2000.

Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Adrienne E. Trent, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0060119
WAYNE L. ALLEN & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
700 N. Wickham Road
Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681

Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Status: Closed
Date Filed: 10/12/2000

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.