Due to a scheduling conflict, one of Bonnie Mayfield’s colleagues could not attend a trial. Bonnie, a member at Dykema, stepped in and made the trip from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale on very short notice and tried a case in which the former employee asserted, under the Florida anti-discrimination statute, that she was harassed by a representative of a competitor company and terminated because of her age, harassment complaints, and gender.
After very long days of testimony, the ALJ’s thirty-six page decision agreed with the defense and concluded that there was no evidence of age or sex discrimination, retaliation, or sexual harassment. Despite the claims, there was no comparable employee who had been treated better than the former employee. While the behavior of the third-party competitor was boorish, offensive, and not polite, it was neither severe, pervasive, sex-based, age-based nor could it be the basis of a protected complaint. The company had a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for discharging the former employee, namely her flagrant misconduct. The former employee also failed to prove that “but for” her complaint about the competitor, she would not have been discharged.
A member of the client’s Legal Department attended the trial and was very complimentary of Bonnie’s trial work.