Campbell v. Alacare Home Health Services inc
Court Docket Sheet
Northern District of Alabama2:2012-cv-04128 (alnd)
COMPLAINT WITH JURY DEMAND against Alacare Home Health Services Inc filed by Jo-Lynne Campbell.
Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 1 of 9 FILED 2012 Dec-20 PM 04:40 U.S. DISTRICT COURT N.D. OF ALABAMA IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA SOUTHERN DIVISION JO-LYNNE CAMPBELL, * * CIVIL ACTION Plaintiff, * * FILE NO: vs. * * ALACARE HOME HEALTH SERVICES, * INC., * * Defendant. * COMPLAINT COMES NOW the Plaintiff, Jo-Lynne Campbell, a resident of the State of Alabama (hereinafter referred to as "Plaintiff") by and through her undersigned attorney(s), and files this her Complaint against Alacare Home Health Services, Inc., a corporation incorporated in the State of Alabama (hereinafter referred to as the "Defendant"), and respectfully shows unto this Honorable Court as follows: 1. Plaintiff is a resident of the State of Alabama, County of Mobile, and submits herself to the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 2. Defendant is a corporation incorporated in the State of Alabama, presently transacting business in jurisdiction and venue of this Court. Service may be perfected upon the Defendant by serving its registered agent, John G. Beard, 2400 John Hawkins Parkway, Birmingham, Alabama, 35244. 1 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 2 of 9 3. This Complaint is filed pursuant to the Age Discrimination and Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. Â§621, et. seq., and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. Â§2000e, et. seq. 4. Jurisdiction and venue are proper in this Honorable Court. 5. Plaintiff is an employee and Defendant is an employer under the terms and provisions of the ADEA and Title VII. Plaintiff is within the protected age group, her date of birth being June 19, 1951. 6. From October, 2006, until November 18, 2010, Plaintiff was employed by as a Branch Director of the Mobile and Fairhope, Alabama offices of Defendant (herein the "Branch Office"), and acted as a full time employee at all times relevant to this Complaint. 7. Plaintiffâs duties included, but were not limited to, overseeing all departments within the jurisdiction of her supervision as to nursing services, performance, efficiency, productivity, employee morale, and compliance with all applicable statutes, regulations, administrative rulings and corporate policy of the Defendant. Plaintiffâs role with Defendant was to ensure the organization as a whole functioned at its greatest level of proficiency in all areas and departments of the Branch Office. 2 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 3 of 9 8. While Plaintiff was employed by Defendant as the Branch Director, she received an annual salary of Seventy Thousand Dollars ($70,000.00) per year together with such bonuses and employee benefits as were available for her duties and responsibilities for which she was assigned. 9. During the period of Plaintiffâs employment as a Branch Director, Carrie Cooley (herein referred to as "Cooley") served as the Regional Administrator of Defendant for the Branch Office. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Cooley had operational supervision of the Branch Office; but Plaintiff was directly responsible and involved in the day-to-day operations of the Branch Office. Plaintiffâs performance was never an issue during her employment. 10. On or about November 18, 2010, Cooley entered the Branch Office ostensibly for a meeting with Plaintiff concerning employees in the Branch Office. Shortly after arrival, Cooley made several age-biased comments to Plaintiff regarding her age such as how much longer she intended to work, she was "too old" to do her job, when would she be ready to retire. All of these comments referred specifically to Plaintiffâs age with the intended reference to the fact Cooley believed Plaintiff was too old to perform her duties in the Branch Office and should retire. 11. During the course of the conversation between Plaintiff and Cooley, she informed Plaintiff that she had recommended to the Corporate Office of Defendant that Anthony Martinez to take over Plaintiffâs position as Branch Director. Mr. Martinez would assume the position and 3 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 4 of 9 its duties and responsibilities on the following Monday. Mr. Martinez was younger than Plaintiff, a male, and unqualified to serve in the position of Branch Director in that he had no professional nursing degree nor had he served in a previous position equal or similar to that of Branch Director. Cooley then advised Plaintiff that she would give Plaintiff the opportunity to "step down" to the position of Clinical Manager with responsibility limited to supervising nursing services. Plaintiff indicated her desire to talk to the Corporate Offices and appeal the decision of Cooley, but would perform the duties of Clinical Manager until a decision by the Corporate Office had been made. 12. Mr. Martinez was subsequently terminated as Branch Director for performance issues. 13. Plaintiffâs salary was reduced from Seventy Thousand Dollars ($70,000.00) to Sixty Six Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($66,500.00) effective November 21, 2010. 14. Plaintiff timely filed her appeal to the Corporate Offices of Defendant and performed in the position of Clinical Manager of the Branch Office until January 8, 2011, when she became ill and was diagnosed as having cancer. 15. Upon her diagnosis, Plaintiff immediately filed for a leave of absence under the FMLA. During her authorized period of leave under FMLA, Plaintiff learned that Defendant had replaced her in early February, 2011 as Clinical Manager without notice, and upon expiration of the twelve week authorized leave by FMLA, Plaintiff was terminated. 4 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 5 of 9 16. On April 15, 2011, Plaintiff filed her Complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Mobile, Alabama; and, on September 25, 2012, she received her Right-to-Sue Letter from that Agency, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A." CAUSES OF ACTION COUNT I â AGE DISCRIMINATION 17. Plaintiff adopts and realleges Paragraphs 1 â 16 of the Complaint herein and incorporates such paragraphs as if fully set forth. 18. Plaintiff avers that during the course of her employment she was replaced as Branch Director of the Branch Office by Defendant through its designated representative, Cooley. The stated grounds for the demotion of Plaintiff from the position of Branch Director were Cooleyâs comments as to Plaintiffâs age such as "how much longer do you plan on working", "you act and look younger than you are", and "I thought you would be ready to retire". 19. Defendantâs replacement as Branch Director, Anthony Martinez, was obviously much younger than Plaintiff, his exact age being unknown, was a male, and was unqualified for the Branch Director position in that he had no experience in that position and had no professional nursing qualifications which would qualify him for performance in the position. After her replacement, Anthony Martinez repeatedly requested Plaintiff to continue with all her previous duties as Branch Director because he had no idea as to what actions were to be taken or performed. 5 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 6 of 9 20. Plaintiff reasonably opposed her demotion as she felt they were based entirely on her age and sex, and adversely affected the performance, productivity and morale of all employees of Defendant at the Branch Office. 21. Defendant accepted a reduction in duties and responsibilities from Branch Director to Clinical Manager only to perfect her appeal to the Corporate Office to confirm the decision of Cooley as to her replacement for the unlawful reasons as stated by Cooley. Her termination from the position of Clinical Manager and employee by Defendant upon expiration of her FMLA leave was prior to any decision upon Plaintiffâs appeal to the Corporate Offices as to her initial reduction. 22. Plaintiff has proximately sustained damages as a result of Defendantâs illegal conduct from which she is due relief. Defendant is liable to Plaintiff for actual, compensatory and punitive damages together with an award of reasonable attorneyâs fees as provided for in ADEA. COUNT II â UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION 23. Plaintiff adopts and realleges Paragraphs 1 â 22 of the Complaint herein and incorporates such paragraphs as if fully set forth. 24. Plaintiff was a female employee of Defendant, and was removed from her position of Branch Director and demoted to the position of Clinical Manager by a male employee who was unqualified for the Branch Director position. 6 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 7 of 9 25. Plaintiff performed all of the duties and responsibilities of her office as Branch Director in an exemplary manner, and consistently received exemplary evaluations during the term of her employment as Branch Director. 26. Plaintiff was not given any reason for her removal from the Branch Director position other than the unlawful comments made by Cooley regarding her age. Accordingly, Defendant did not at the time of her removal from Branch Office or any time subsequent thereto indicate any legitimate basis for her removal from the Branch Director position. Plaintiffâs replacement, Anthony Martinez, was subsequently terminated due to performance issues. 27. Removal of Plaintiff from the position of Branch Director and demotion to a position of Clinical Manager and subsequent termination of employment was proximately caused by Plaintiffâs age and gender. 28. Plaintiff has proximately sustained damages as a result of Defendantâs illegal conduct from which she is due relief. Defendant is liable to Plaintiff for actual, compensatory and punitive damages with an award of attorneyâs fees as provided in Title VII. REQUEST FOR TRIAL BY JURY 29. Plaintiff adopts and realleges Paragraphs 1 â 28 of the Complaint herein and incorporates such paragraphs as if completely set forth. 7 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 8 of 9 30. Plaintiff requests a trial by jury for all issues raised in the subject Complaint. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully prays unto this Honorable Court as follows: a. That this Complaint be filed and the Defendant be served according to law; b. That Plaintiff be awarded damages for lost wages, liquidated, compensatory and punitive damages as provided for in the ADEA; c. That Plaintiff be awarded front pay injuries, and that the actual value of any employment benefits to which she was entitled but denied because of her wrongful termination; d. For an award of attorneysâ fees as provided in the ADEA; and, e. That the Plaintiff be awarded actual, compensatory and punitive damages for Defendantâs gender discrimination as provided in Title VIII; f. For an award of attorneysâ fees as provided in the ADEA and Title VIII; and, g. For such other and further relief as this Honorable Court may deem just and proper in the circumstances. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED, this 18th day of December, 2012. MEACHAM & EARLEY, P.C. Attorneys for Plaintiff/s/Richard M. Kemmer, III Richard M. Kemmer, III, (KEM009) MEACHAM & EARLEY, P.C. 1912 Opelika Road Phenix City, AL 36867 (334) 448-6217 email@example.com 8 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint Case 2:12-cv-04128-LSC Document 1 Filed 12/19/12 Page 9 of 9 EXHIBIT "A" 9 ME&J/AL/Labor-Employment/Age/Campbell Complaint
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