United Space Alliance, LLC, – Race Discrimination State Claim, African-American Employee.

United Space Alliance, LLC, – Race Discrimination State Claim, African-American Employee.

United Space Alliance caseIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

SYLVESTER JONES,

Plaintiff,

v. CASE NO.
UNITED SPACE ALLIANCE, LLC,

Defendant.
___________________________/

AMENDED COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff, SYLVESTER JONES, by and through his undersigned attorney, sues Defendant, UNITED SPACE ALLIANCE, LLC, and alleges the following:
1. This action is brought to obtain relief for discrimination committed by Defendant against Plaintiff on the basis of Plaintiff’s race and religion.
2. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of interest, costs and attorney fees.
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, UNITED SPACE ALLIANCE, LLC, is a Delaware corporation, 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 an industry affecting commerce.
6. Plaintiff, an African American male was employed by Defendant, UNITED SPACE ALLIANCE, LLC, from June 6, 1987 until he was discharged by Defendant from his position as a Senior Engineer on or about May 6, 2002.
7. 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 the rules and regulations of Defendant.
8. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer grave and severe damage to his financial welfare, and his employment prospects, by reason of Defendant’s discriminatory actions against Plaintiff.
9. Plaintiff has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of Defendant’s actions.
10. On or about November 8, 2002, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (attached hereto as Exhibit “A”) alleging discrimination based on race and religion.
11. Plaintiff was issued a Dismissal and Notice of Rights document, attached as Exhibit “B”, by the EEOC and Plaintiff filed his original complaint within ninety (90) days of Plaintiff’s receipt of said notice.
12. 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 he filed his charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
13. More than one hundred eighty (180) days have passed since the filing of said complaint, and the Florida Commission on Human Relations has not entered a determination on Plaintiff’s claim.
14. Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies and complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
15. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorneys and agreed to pay them a reasonable fee.
COUNT I
RACE DISCRIMINATION
STATE CLAIM
16. This is an action for race discrimination brought pursuant to Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
17. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 10 and 12 through 15 of this Complaint, as if set forth in full herein.
18. Plaintiff was singled out due to his race and placed on a Performance Improvement Plan in November 2001 for alleged unacceptable performance.
19. While on the Performance Improvement Plan, Plaintiff’s flexible work schedule was discontinued and he was not allowed to earn compensatory time or overtime.
20. While on the Performance Improvement Plan, Plaintiff’s manager failed to adhere to the Performance Improvement Plan and Internal Operating Procedures, which impeded Plaintiff’s ability to complete the Plan. Plaintiff’s manager also failed to redline comments as required or respond in a timely manner and failed to adjust the schedule for the Performance Improvement Plan with the flow of work. Plaintiff’s manager also was unavailable to provide comments for closure, which further hindered Plaintiff’s performance during the Performance Improvement Plan.
21. While on the Performance Improvement Plan, Plaintiff was not allowed to confer with other engineers unless he went through his supervisor. Plaintiff was also verbally reprimanded several times for talking to a black female engineer even though they were discussing work.
22. After Plaintiff’s ability to successfully complete his Performance Improvement Plan was substantially hindered by management, Plaintiff was terminated for allegedly failing to successfully complete the Performance Improvement Plan.
23. Plaintiff’s position was then filled by a Caucasian employee.
24. The disparate treatment alleged herein was motivated by the intent of Defendant, to discriminate against Plaintiff on the basis of his race.
25. By its disparate treatment of Plaintiff, Defendant violated the provisions of Section 760.10(1), Florida Statutes, 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.
26. Because of the disparate treatment sustained by Plaintiff, Plaintiff has been deprived of benefits, which were afforded to Caucasian employees but denied to African-American employees and Plaintiff has suffered loss of employment, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering.
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) Judgment for back pay, front pay, expenses incurred by Plaintiff in his 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
RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION
HARASSMENT AND HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT
STATE CLAIM
27. This is an action for religious discrimination, harassment and hostile work environment brought pursuant to Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
28. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 10, 12 and through 15 of this Complaint, as if set forth in full herein.
29. During Plaintiff’s employment with Defendant, Plaintiff was also a Minister of the Apostolic/Pentecostal Faith.
30. Plaintiff’s Manager would regularly make derogatory religious remarks to Plaintiff, many times this would occur when Plaintiff spoke up during staff meetings.
31. Plaintiff posted flyers regarding events at his church on the community bulletin board, which were regularly removed by a co-worker. When Plaintiff reported his co-worker’s actions to his manager no action was taken.
32. Plaintiff was instructed by his manager to remove the strap that held his identification badge because it had the name “Jesus” on it, which allegedly offended the co-worker who was removing the flyers Plaintiff had posted on the bulletin board.
33. Plaintiff’s manager did not allow Plaintiff to have his Bible on his desk by his computer or on his table and would instruct Plaintiff to put his Bible in his drawer. Other employees were allowed to have non-work related books on their desks and did not have to keep them in a drawer.
34. Plaintiff’s was also harassed by being accused of having a conflict of interest with the space program because he was a pastor, which was not a conflict of interest.
35. Plaintiff was asked to turn down or turn off his religious music while other employees were allowed to play other music that was not religious.
36. The religious harassment alleged herein was motivated solely by the intent of Defendant, to discriminate against Plaintiff on the basis of his religion.
37. In its religious harassment of Plaintiff, the Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of his religion.
39. Plaintiff was also singled out due to his religion and placed on a Performance Improvement Plan in November 2001 for alleged unacceptable performance and was then terminated for allegedly failing to successfully complete the Performance Improvement Plan.
40. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 19 through 22 of this Complaint, as if set forth in full herein.
41. By its religious discrimination and harassment of Plaintiff, Defendant violated the provisions of Section 760.10(1), Florida Statutes, 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 religion.
42. Because of the religious discrimination, harassment and hostile work environment, perpetrated by Defendant, Plaintiff has suffered loss of employment, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering.
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) Judgment for back pay, front pay, expenses incurred by Plaintiff in his 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
RACE DISCRIMINATION
FEDERAL CLAIM
43. This is an action for race discrimination brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.
44. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 11, 14 to 15, and 18 through 24 of this Complaint, as if set forth in full herein.
45. While employed by Defendant, Plaintiff has been subjected to discrimination based on his race and was terminated in violation of his civil rights.
46. Because of the racial discrimination of Defendant sustained by Plaintiff, Plaintiff has been deprived of benefits, which were afforded to Caucasian employees but denied to African-American employees and Plaintiff has been deprived of employment and has suffered loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering.
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) Judgment for back pay, front pay, expenses incurred by Plaintiff in his 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
RELIGIOUS HARASSMENT AND HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT

FEDERAL CLAIM

47. This is an action for religious discrimination, harassment and hostile work environment brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.
48. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 11, 14 to 15, 19 to 24 and 29 to 40 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
49. While employed by Defendant, Plaintiff has been subjected to a hostile work environment at his place of employment, and has been harassed based on his religion and terminated in violation of his civil rights.
50. Because of the religious discrimination and hostile work environment of Defendant sustained by Plaintiff, has been deprived of employment and has suffered mental anguish, loss of dignity and emotional pain and suffering.
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) Judgment for back pay, front pay, expenses incurred by Plaintiff in his 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 December, 2003.

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