IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
MARGARET L. AHRENS,
vs. Case No:
WINN DIXIE STORES, INC.,
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff, MARGARET AHRENS, by and through her undersigned counsel, sues Defendant, WINN DIXIE STORES, INC. (hereinafter called “Defendant”), 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. This is an action brought pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. Sections 2601 to 2654, to obtain relief for violation of medical leave rights guaranteed by the FMLA.
5. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant in excess of twelve months and for at least 1250 hours over the twelve months prior to her termination.
6. Defendant employed in excess of 50 employees for each working day during each of twenty or more calendar work weeks in the year culminating in Plaintiff’s termination.
7. Plaintiff worked for WINN DIXIE STORES, INC. as a Deli Associate from December 1, 1995 until January 13, 2007.
8. On or about August of 2006, Plaintiff had requested a Leave of Absence.
9. Upon Plaintiff’s return on or about November of 2006, from her Leave of Absence, Martha Able, Human Resources Representative informed Plaintiff that there were no full time positions in the Deli Department.
10. Plaintiff suggested she could be a cashier to her Co-Manager Ryan O’Connel.
11. Ryan O’Connel told Plaintiff he does not hire full time cashiers.
12. On or about November or December of 2006, Plaintiff informed Defendant of a lump in her breast and she had to attend a mammogram on December 20, 2006.
13. On December 23, 2006 Plaintiff received letters stating mammogram was abnormal.
14. Immediately upon learning of the Biopsy date, Plaintiff gave the letter to her employer of her scheduled Biopsy appointment as required.
15. Defendant changed Plaintiff’s schedule and asked Plaintiff to change her Biopsy appointment to accommodate her new work schedule.
16. Due to the surgeons schedule, it was impossible for Plaintiff to reschedule the Biopsy date.
17. On January 13, 2007, Defendant refused to accommodate Plaintiff and decided to terminate Plaintiff, due to failure to have an open schedule.
18. Plaintiff pleaded with her Co-Manager, Ryan O’Connel in order to save her job and told Mr. O’Connel she had cancer and she needed her benefits.
19. Mr. O’Connel told Plaintiff, that was not his problem and that it was between Human Resources and Plaintiff.
20. Defendant blatantly disregarded 29 U.S.C. §2615 in direct violation of Congress’ Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
21. The Defendant’s actions against the Plaintiff in violation of the FMLA were done wantonly, maliciously, willfully and with the intent to do harm to Plaintiff.
22. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee.
23. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
24. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
25. At all times during her employment with Defendant, Plaintiff performed all duties assigned to her in a professionally competent manner.
26. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer grave and severe damage to her financial welfare, by reason of Defendant’s unlawful actions against the Plaintiff.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, as follows:
A. Judgment for all wages, salary, employment benefits and other compensation denied or lost Plaintiff by reason of Defendant’s violation of the FMLA;
C. An additional amount as liquidated damages;
D. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein;
E. Such other damages as may be just and proper.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.
DATED this _____day of October, 2007.
ALLEN & ARCADIER, P.A.
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0110025
Maurice Arcadier, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 131180
Attorneys for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681