A state-by-state review of court cases pertaining to workplace rights.
Select your state from the map below or from this list. (If your state does not have any court cases, then the page will not scroll down when you click on the state.)
Source: Laura C. Morel, Tampa Bay Times
Date: September 25, 2014
Within the past three months, the Clearwater Police Department has received nearly a dozen reports of undocumented workers accusing their employers of withholding wages ranging from $400 to $1,200.
Press, ABC News
Date: September 25, 2014
A Michigan funeral home and a Florida eye clinic illegally fired employees because they're transgender, a federal agency alleged Thursday in two lawsuits.
Source: Scott Johnson, News 4 Jacksonville
Date: September 22, 2014
In lawsuits filed in federal court Friday and Monday against OPMC and its parent company, HCA South Atlantic, a doctor, a registered nurse and a a nurse practitioner allege the untimely deaths of patients, widespread medical malpractice, race-based discrimination and even false imprisonment.
Source: Apple Faces Age Discrimination Lawsuit , Information Week
Date: December 6, 2010
A former Mac Specialist at an Apple retail store claims that he was not promoted because he was too old.
Source: AP, Miami Herald
Date: November 23, 2010
A federal lawsuit contends that University of Miami credit history checks of job candidates discriminate unfairly against minorities.
Source: Marcia Heroux Pounds, TC Palm
Date: September 7, 2010
Last week Jorud, 47, won an $8.1 million verdict from a federal jury after she sued her employer, claiming she was harassed for taking time off and then unjustly fired. The suit cited violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other worker protection laws.
Source: Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor
Date: September 2, 2010
Florida was one of four states - along with Arizona, Oklahoma, and Colorado - with a ballot initiative this November to potentially override the health-care bill mandate that all Americans must have health insurance. But a Florida court said the ballot language was 'misleading.'
Source: Robert Trigaux, Tampa Bay Online
Date: January 20, 2010
As widely reported late last year (and by this Venture blog here), Tampa's OSI Restaurant Partners, parent of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain, is paying millions to settle a lawsuit alleging that it systematically stymied women from advancing to lucrative management ranks.
Source: EEOC, EEOC
Date: June 15, 2009
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that national retail giant Dillard's, Inc. will pay $110,000 and provide significant remedial relief to settle a same-sex harassment lawsuit involving two male victims.
Source: Susannah Bryan, Sun Sentinel
Date: April 28, 2009
Nine months after losing a federal discrimination lawsuit, the city has reached an $800,000 settlement with an Orthodox Jewish synagogue that claimed Cooper City used zoning laws to kick out the Chabad of Nova Outreach Center.
Source: Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle), Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)
Date: April 20, 2009
In the suit, the EEOC alleged that an alternations department manager said "she hated Hispanics and that Hispanics were lazy and ignorant." The same manager, the EEOC alleged, made remarks such as "I don't like blacks," and "you're black you stink."
Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal
Date: May 29, 2006
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled separate employment discrimination lawsuits filed against Wal-Mart and RTG Furniture. The suits were on behalf of five individuals who were subjected to egregious sexual and racial harassment at a Wal-Mart store in Bradenton [Florida] and a Rooms To Go clearance center in Seffner [Florida].
Source: Dale King, Boca Raton News
Date: February 8, 2006
A Palm Beach County Circuit Court jury has awarded a 58-year-old computer network administrator at Florida Atlantic University $120,596 for allegedly discriminating against him by passing him up for pay raises given to younger colleagues. Lawyers for Adolfo Zamora claim the university retaliated against him after he complained about the discrimination to the university's Equal Opportunity Program. Employment lawyers William R. Amlong and Karen Coolman Amlong of Fort Lauderdale represented Zamora.
Source: Jennifer Liberto, St. Petersburg
Date: June 14, 2005
Molly Beavers lost her smile early on in her 19-year career of pushing food samples and collecting grocery carts she could barely see over. Her scowl may have cost her the job. A Sam's Club manager fired her in December 2003 for not smiling enough, she says. Beavers' face is partially paralyzed from surgery related to her condition as an achondroplastic dwarf. Beavers filed an Americans With Disabilities Act complaint in federal court Friday, alleging that Sam's Club and parent company Wal-Mart discriminated against her when they fired her. She claims they knew about her health problems and failed to accommodate her. Beavers says she's seeking an apology and some compensation for the last two years she has been unemployed.
Date: December 22, 2004
A jury returned a $1.57 million verdict in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ted Maines and his private counsel in their workplace discrimination lawsuit against shipping giant Federal Express for violating Title VII of [the] Civil Rights Act of 1964. The jury found Federal Express liable for retaliation and the constructive termination of Maines, and awarded him $201,000 in back pay and $1,370,000 in compensatory damages for emotional pain and distress. Maines, who is white, sought to promote an African American and a Hispanic, both longtime Federal Express employees, to supervisory positions, but was rebuffed and retaliated against by a corporate official who favored a white female recently employed by Federal Express.
Source: Emily Fredrix, Associated Press, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Date: August 24, 2004
A former field director is accusing the Florida Republican Party of racial discrimination in a federal lawsuit. Nadia Naffe also named the Republican National Committee and Bush-Cheney '04 in the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Tampa. Naffe says she was fired from her job, which she held from August 2003 to April of this year, after she complained about being assigned to work with black organizations, events and issues. Naffe was the only black field director at the time. She said she was told, "You understand your people." After refusing the assignments, Naffe said she was called insubordinate and "not a team player." The lawsuit says she contacted the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and was soon after fired.
Source: Missy Stoddard, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Date: July 30, 2004
A federal jury in Palm Beach County this week awarded $305,000 to an Arab-American immigration official who once directed operations at Port Everglades in Broward County. Last year, Simon Abi Nader sued the federal government for discrimination and retaliation, alleging that his supervisors had harassed him based on his Lebanese national origin and his Arab-American race. From 1992 to 2002, Nader ran operations at Port Everglades.
Florida Business Journal
Date: July 19, 2004
Florida voters may consider a proposed minimum wage law this November if the sponsoring political action committee collects enough signatures, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The initiative proposes creating a state minimum wage of $6.15 an hour, which would override the federal standard by $1. If sponsoring group Floridians For All collects 488,722 verified voter signatures by Aug. 3, the court said the initiative may be placed on the ballot this fall. The group had 290,797 verified signatures as of last week, according the state's Division of Elections.
Press, Times Daily
Date: June 11, 2004
Former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor's first written opinion as a federal appeals court judge barred many employees of Federal Express Corp. from pursuing discrimination claims against their employer. Pryor joined the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals without a U.S. Senate vote when President Bush bypassed the Senate with a short-term "recess appointment." His temporary appointment will end in late 2005. The U.S. Senate blocked the Mobile Republican's appointment largely because of his ultra-conservative stance in employment law and other legal issues.
Source: Carlos Moncada, Tampa Tribune, Tampa Bay Online
Date: June 8, 2004
A former librarian who says he was fired after [Clearwater, Florida] officials learned he was HIV-positive has filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court. Paul S. Ritz alleges he was subjected to unfair discipline, made to take infectious disease fitness-for-duty examinations even though he is not infectious, had his daily activities monitored and, ultimately, was fired because of his sexual orientation, according to the lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa.
Source: Jeff Scullin, The Ledger
Date: April 26, 2004
Florida's Natural Growers fired Rony Civil in December 2000, citing three disciplinary write-ups he received in less than a year. But Civil, who is black and Haitian, saw racial discrimination behind the firing. He filed a lawsuit in federal court against Florida's Natural and its parent company, Citrus World, both of which are based in Lake Wales. The Avon Park man claimed that a supervisor had humiliated him with racial and ethnic slurs and denied him a promotion because of his background. Civil accused company officials of looking the other way after he reported the harassment and said he was fired in retaliation for circulating a petition seeking better pay for off-season workers.
Source: The Ledger (FL)
Date: March 2, 2004
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by five city employees accusing Winter Haven (FL) of racial and sex discrimination. In his ruling, dated Jan. 16, U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. said the five employees failed to produce evidence supporting their accusations. City officials may seek to recoup lawyer's fees and costs spent to defend their case, according to a Feb. 23 memorandum to city commissioners written by City Attorney John Murphy.
Source: Dina Sanchez, Orlando Sentinel
Date: February 4, 2004
A gender-discrimination lawsuit filed by the federal government against a group of Vero Beach emergency-room physicians has been settled for $500,000. The court-approved settlement requires Emergency Medicine Associates Inc. to pay the money to a former emergency-room physician, Gloria Farina, who accused the other doctors of creating a sexually hostile environment during her five-year tenure at Indian River Memorial Hospital as the group's only female physician. The settlement also calls for Emergency Medicine Associates to undertake remedial action, such as management-training classes on discrimination and sexual harassment.
Date: January 8, 2004
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced two settlements of employment discrimination lawsuits under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act against Tampa, Fla.-area restaurants for sexual harassment of teenaged former employees. The settlements against Pizza of Florida, Inc., doing business as ABC Pizza, and Rare Hospitality International, Inc., doing business as Longhorn Steakhouse, total $525,000 in monetary relief and include extensive remedial relief, such as company training, posting of notices, and monitoring provisions. The EEOC's lawsuit against Pizza of Florida charged the Tampa Bay area pizza chain with subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile working environment. The EEOC contends that the sexually harassing conduct, created by the restaurant's manager, was primarily directed towards two sisters who were ages 16 and 17 at the time they were employed with ABC Pizza. EEOC's settlement with Longhorn requires the company to pay Collen Falkowski and two other former similarly situated employees a total of $200,000 in monetary relief for harassment that they were subjected to at the hands of an assistant manager. Ms. Falkowski was 16-years old when she associated with Longhorn as part of a high school on-the-job training class requirement. The assistant manager subjected Ms. Falkowski and the two other similarly situated female employees to conduct ranging from inappropriate hip and lower back touches and breast grabbing to inappropriate verbal comments, the EEOC's lawsuit said.
Source: Larry Hannan, Naples Daily News
Date: December 18, 2003
Just after closing arguments began Monday in Diane Flagg's sexual discrimination trial against Collier County government, about 25 county employees filed into the federal courtroom in Fort Myers and crowded into the seats on the county's side of the gallery. The employees, taken there by county vehicles, were on the clock. They stayed for a couple of hours until closing arguments were concluded and the case went to the jury. To county lawyers and administrators, it was a chance for the employees to learn some important lessons about county government job evaluations. To frequent county watchdog Janet Vasey, a vocal supporter of Flagg, it was a waste of the employees' time. Monday and for the past couple of days, Vasey has complained to various people that the employees had better uses for their time than going to downtown Fort Myers to hear closing arguments.
Source: Jeff Scullin, The
Date: December 9, 2003
An emergency room nurse has sued Lakeland Regional Medical Center and two hospital administrators claiming racial discrimination, charging that a gag gift she received at an awards banquet last year amounts to harassment. In her lawsuit filed Oct. 15 in Civil Court in Bartow, Phyllis Miller claimed that Marge Keck and Babs Rockhill, the hospital managers who were hosting the Dec. 14, 2002, banquet, gave her a stuffed monkey holding a baby monkey in recognition of her volunteer efforts with a group known as the Lake Alfred Kids. The lawsuit seeks more than $15,000 in damages and names the hospital, Keck and Rockhill as defendants. Miller, who is black, has provided medical care and raised money for the group, which predominantly serves underprivileged, minority children.
Source: Tony Doris, Miami Daily Business
Date: November 14, 2003
A divided Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the NAACP has legal standing to challenge rules established by Gov. Jeb Bush eliminating affirmative action admission policies at state universities. The 4-3 ruling sends the case back to the state's 1st District Court of Appeal, which had said the NAACP lacked standing. The NAACP had contested Bush's proposed Talented 20 admissions program, which was part of his One Florida initiative in 2000 to eliminate affirmative action admissions policies. Under the Talented 20 program, state universities were required to admit the top 20 percent of each year's applicants to each state school, as an alternative to race- and ethnicity-conscious admissions policies.
Source: Associated Press, The Ledger
Date: November 5, 2003
A judge dismissed a discrimination lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman who was fired from her job as a luxury hotel's housekeeping supervisor the day after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Fatiha Gentzler had claimed that she was fired from The Breakers hotel on Sept. 12, 2001, because of her religion. The Moroccan-born Gentzler had accused the famed Palm Beach hotel of firing her without warning or previous disciplinary action. She alleged she was told, "you don't fit here" and "we can't have you here" during her dismissal meeting. But Circuit Judge Timothy McCarthy granted the hotel a summary judgment, denying Gentzler's claim for $30,000 in back pay and punitive damages in her lawsuit.
Source: Joanna Grossman, Findlaw's Legal
Date: November 4, 2003
In 1999, Lucianne Walton was working as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical ("Ortho"). She has sued Ortho for sexual harassment. Specifically, she alleges that that year, over a two-month period, her supervisor, George Mykytiuk, groped her, fondled her, and repeatedly raped her. While he never explicitly threatened her, she alleges that he committed several of these acts after having showed her the gun he kept close at hand. These are obviously extremely serious allegations that deserve to be heard. Sadly, however, this case -- Walton v. Johnson & Johnson -- will never reach a jury. The trial court granted summary judgment to Ortho. And recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed that ruling. The Court of Appeals' opinion dodged several important issues. Among them was the important issue of so-called "sudden, severe harassment." The issue is this: Can an employer be held liable for such harassment as long as the victim pursued reasonable avenues of complaint? Or is the employer off the hook for all the harassment if it took reasonable measures to prevent it from happening, and reasonable measures to correct it afterward? Put another way, who should pay the price for "unavoidable" harassment--the victim or the employer?
Source: The Ledger (FL)
Date: October 17, 2003
A former Marion County sheriff's deputy has settled her sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuit against Sheriff Ed Dean and another exdeputy. Former Detective Pamela De la Rua will receive $150,000 from the sheriff's office and $5,000 from ex-deputy Robert Proctor.
Source: Tony Doris, Miami Daily Business Review
Date: October 9, 2003
When Florida's Palm Beach County moved to fire senior secretary Lee Ellen Dascott from its Department of Community Services last year, the 13-year government worker exercised her right to appeal to a county panel. The pre-termination conference panel upheld the firing, which was based on Dascott's act of bringing a tape recorder into a meeting with her supervisor. But Dascott, now 43, does not know why the panel made its decision. That's because the members deliberated behind closed doors. In a case that could overturn dozens of firings of the past four years, Dascott's attorney, Frederick W. Ford, is scheduled to argue Dec. 3 before the 4th District Court of Appeal that the closed deliberations violated Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Act. Ford argues in a brief filed with the court that the termination must be rescinded and Dascott must be reinstated with full back pay.
Source: Gregory Lewis, Sun Sentinel
Date: October 8, 2003
Timothy St. Fleur fought for and won more than money in his discrimination case against the city of Fort Lauderdale. He got to keep his job. A federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale last week awarded St. Fleur $475,000 in back pay and compensation for emotional pain and anguish, ending a three-year court battle. St. Fleur said he filed the suit to encourage other black employees to speak up and reject common myths that if you challenge the city, you'll be fired.
Source: Lisa J. Huriash, Sun Sentinel (FL)
Date: October 1, 2003
A Fort Lauderdale federal jury on Tuesday awarded $475,000 in back pay and compensation for emotional pain and anguish to a city maintenance worker who claimed discrimination. The city, already facing serious budget problems, will bear the brunt of the cost because its insurance carrier won't cover the majority of the award. The company had agreed to pay $130,000 in 2001 and urged the city to settle the case, saying the city would have to pay any additional costs. Instead, the city opted to fight it out in court and hired an outside attorney.
Source: Tony Doris, Miami Daily Business
Date: September 23, 2003
News organizations say two recent Florida Supreme Court actions restricting public access to government employees' e-mails and phone call lists will hurt their ability to uncover misconduct by public officials. In a case filed by the St. Petersburg Times, the Supreme Court this month unanimously ruled that the city of Clearwater was not required to release the personal e-mails of two employees just because the messages were sent on city-owned computers and on city time. Some First Amendment lawyers are calling the decision in Times Publishing Co. v. City of Clearwater -- along with the high court's refusal to review a decision from the state's 1st District Court of Appeal blocking media access to legislative staffers' mobile phone records -- significant defeats for openness and accountability in Florida government.
Source: Jennifer Farrell, St. Petersburg
Date: September 12, 2003
Public employees do not have to turn over private e-mail to the public, even when using government computers at work, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The ruling was a defeat for First Amendment advocates and the St. Petersburg Times, which had sued the city of Clearwater for access to the e-mails of two city employees who sent and received messages about a private business in which they had invested. The city allowed the employees to determine which e-mails should be made public. Written by Justice Barbara Pariente, the unanimous opinion found that e-mails are not public documents simply because they are created or stored on government computers. The ruling did not address who should decide what is public.
Source: Kris Hundley (St.
Petersburg Times), The Ledger
Date: August 21, 2003
About two years ago, four female employees of Kash n' Karry accused the grocery chain of paying women less than men who did similar work. This week, those women and other female Kash n' Karry employees learned they will be offered a share in a $3.1 million settlement with the chain that's based in Tampa. Here's the catch: $500,000 of the class-action settlement will come in the form of discount coupons and gift certificates redeemable only at Kash n' Karry, the company the women say shortchanged them.
Source: D.E. L?Ger, Miami Herald
Date: August 14, 2003
A former Supercuts manager, who complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about a plan to reduce the number of black employees at the hair salon chain, paved the way for a $3.5 million settlement announced Wednesday. Richard Quick, of Melbourne, was a regional manager in charge of 76 Supercuts stores in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Puerto Rico when he balked at a Supercuts directive ''to balance the platform'' by trimming the number of black workers employed by the Minneapolis-based chain and was fired, the EEOC said.
Source: Larry Hannan, Naples Daily News
Date: August 11, 2003
Sometimes truth is a matter of perception. In the sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by Diane Flagg in federal court against Collier County government, the truth varies depending on the perception of the person. Assuming the case goes to trial, it will be up to a jury to determine whose perception is closer to the real truth.
Source: Steve Ellman, Miami Daily Business Review
Date: July 18, 2003
One year ago, Gabino Herrera-Cruz of Belle Glade, Fla., who was working in a North Carolina cornfield, was assigned to crawl into the space beneath two harvesting vehicles while they were moving and attach them with a chain. ccording to a local sheriff's report, an untrained driver, not realizing Herrera-Cruz was working out of sight between the vehicles, backed up the trailing truck that hauled the ears of corn and crushed Herrera-Cruz's head. The 29-year-old Mexican immigrant, who was in the U.S. illegally, died a day later. Last month, Herrera-Cruz's family filed a negligence suit in Palm Beach Circuit Court. The suit is one of the few attempts to hold contractors liable for agricultural workplace accidents, which would have a major impact on the sizable agricultural labor staffing industry in Florida.
Source: Mary McLachlin, PalmBeachPost
Date: July 16, 2003
South Florida Blood Banks Inc., already fighting a lawsuit alleging discrimination against blacks, now faces one by a former employee claiming she was fired because she's white. Angela Kielbon, 30, sued the West Palm Beach-based blood bank in Palm Beach County Circuit Court on Tuesday, alleging her black supervisor treated black employees more favorably than whites.
Source: Laurie Cunningham (Miami Daily Business Review), Law.com
Date: July 9, 2003
In one of the first holdings of its kind, a Miami federal judge dismissed a state whistleblower claim brought by a former maintenance supervisor at a Hialeah aircraft repair center, ruling that the complaint should have been filed under the federal Airline Deregulation Act. In his June 20 decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Huck ruled that the supervisor's state whistleblower claim was pre-empted by the federal statute, which deregulated the nation's airline industry in 1978. Under the federal act, states are prohibited from enacting or enforcing laws that affect anything related to a "price, route or service of an air carrier." The supervisor, James Tucker, filed a whistleblower claim in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in September 2002, a month after he was fired from Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., a division of United Technologies Corp. based in Hartford, Conn.
Source: Michael Hill (AP), FindLaw Legal
Date: July 2, 2003
A telecommuter who worked from Florida for an office in Long Island is ineligible for New York unemployment benefits, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday. In an unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals found that eligibility for benefits depends on where the worker is, not where the employer is. The ruling said no other state or federal court appeared to have tackled the question of who should pay such benefits for interstate telecommuters, whose numbers have soared with improvements in computer technology. In this case, the court said, New York should not pay because Maxine Allen did her work in Florida. Florida already turned her down for benefits.
Joe's Loses Final Round in Bias Case
Source: Elaine Walker, Miami Herald
Date: June 24, 2003
The owners of Joe's Stone Crab reached the end of the road Monday in their 12-year battle over charges of sexual discrimination at the landmark Miami Beach restaurant. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Joe's appeal of a lower court ruling, which had found the restaurant discriminated against two women between 1986 and 1991. During that period, Joe's hired 108 men for its coveted server positions and no women. Joe's had appealed the damages awarded to Catherine Stratford and Teresa Romanello. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that they were interested in applying to Joe's during 1990 but opted not to because they were told by acquaintances that Joe's did not hire women. The two women applied years later for jobs and were rejected.
Date: June 25, 2003
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that a jury in Federal District Court in Tampa, Florida, has returned a $1,550,000 verdict in a major sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the EEOC and the private law firm of Florin, Roebig & Walker, P.A. The lawsuit was originally brought against Applebee's International, Inc., Rio Bravo International, Inc. and Innovative Restaurant Concepts, Inc. for sexual harassment occurring from approximately 1994 until early 1998 at their formerly owned Rio Bravo Cantina restaurant in Clearwater, Fla. (EEOC, et al. v. Rio Bravo International, Inc. et. al., Civil Case No. 99-1371-CIV-T-17A). After a 12-day trial, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of the EEOC and private plaintiffs, awarding $10,000 each to the five women represented in the case to compensate them for the emotional pain and suffering they endured. The jury also assessed punitive damages against the remaining two corporate defendants in the amount of $500,000 each for three of the five women.
Source: Kristen Zambo, Bonita Daily News
Date: June 20, 2003
A Port Charlotte woman has filed a federal lawsuit against an administrator for the 20th Judicial Circuit in Fort Myers, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation in the probation department. The suit against Court Administrator L. Caron Jefferys alleges that Jefferys had knowledge of sexual harassment against Heather D. Wolff and retaliatory actions taken against her after she filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a male boss. Wolff worked as a secretary in the probation department of the court administration office in Charlotte County. The lawsuit alleges that a male supervisor made sexually harassing comments about her breasts and other body parts, and that she was fired in May 2002, two months after she filed a complaint with the EEOC.