Friday, October 10, 2014
In 2008, Anthony Booth and Jerry Brown filed charges against the County and the Union with the EEOC and the Florida Commission of Human Rights. The charges stated issues with the County and Union’s response to past internal complaints. In 2007, Booth named Brown as a witness in a grievance he filed against the supervisor of station 14. As a result of the grievance, the plaintiffs and supportive coworkers were transferred to different stations. The plaintiffs allege that the harassment in their workplace was a direct result of the charges filed with the EEOC and FLHR, and that the County and Union condoned it.
After the charges were filed, Booth and Brown began to be harassed by their coworkers. Memos, along with newspaper articles, naming both Booth and Brown were being placed all around the station. The memo gave a description of the discrimination charges filed by the plaintiffs and discussed the possibility of Union prices increasing due to the charges. The plaintiffs began to complain that they felt unsafe around their coworkers and in their work environment. Due to these complaints, the County required the men to complete fitness-for-duty examinations before being allowed to continue working. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s entry of judgment in favor of the County, and ordered that judgment be entered against the County. While affirming the district court’s entry of judgment against the Union, the Eleventh Circuit agreed that the Union retaliated against the plaintiffs by mentioning their names in the memos. The Eleventh Circuit held that the examinations ordered by the County were sufficient proof to support the Title VII retaliation claim. Booth v. Pasco Cnty., Fla., 12-14194, 2014 WL 3031177 (11th Cir. July 3, 2014).