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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ATLANTA DIVISION

 

MARY STEVENSON, Plaintiff,v.

 

GENUINE PARTS COMPANY,

 

Defendant.

 

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Civil Action No.JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

 

          COMES NOW, Plaintiff Mary Stevenson (hereinafter “Plaintiff”), by and through undersigned counsel, and files this, her Complaint for Damages, showing the Court as follows:

I.       JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1.

          Plaintiff invokes the jurisdiction of this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f).  Plaintiff also invokes this court’s pendant jurisdiction to hear Plaintiff’s state law claims.

2.

          The unlawful employment practices alleged in this Complaint were committed within this district.  In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1391 and 42 U.S.C. §2000(e)-5(f), venue is appropriate in this Court.

II.      PARTIES

3.

Plaintiff is a female resident of the State of Georgia, and is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court.

4.

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company is now, and at all times relevant hereto, has been an employer engaged in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of §701(b), (g) and (h) of Title VII and has employed more than the requisite number of persons for the requisite duration under Title VII.

5.

Plaintiff was an “employee” (as defined under FLSA §3(e), 29 U.S.C. §203(e)) for Defendant.

6.

Defendant Genuine Parts Company is a private employer engaged in interstate commerce, and its gross revenues exceed $500,000 per year.

7.

Genuine Parts Company is an “employer” within the definition of FLSA §3(d), 29 U.S.C. §203(d).

8.

Defendant is governed by and subject to FLSA §7, 29 U.S.C. §204 and §207.

9.

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company is qualified and licensed to do business in Georgia, and at all times material hereto has conducted business within this District.

10.

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company may be served with process by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to its registered agent, Scott Smith, at 2999 Circle 75 Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339.

III.    ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

11.

          Plaintiff timely filed a charge of discrimination against Defendant Genuine Parts Company with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

 

12.

          The EEOC issued a “Notice of Right to Sue” on March 18, 2013, entitling an action to be commenced within ninety (90) days of receipt of that notice.

13.

          This action has been commenced within ninety (90) days of receipt of the “Notice of Right to Sue”.

IV.     FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

Sexual Harassment

14.

                    Genuine Parts Company hired Emanuel Amaya (“Mr. Amaya”) for employment.

15.

Mr. Amaya sexually harassed individuals, including Plaintiff, while employed at Genuine Parts Company.

16.

Defendant Genuine Parts Company was aware of Mr. Amaya’s propensity to sexually harass its employees.

 17.

          Mary Stevenson was hired by Defendant Genuine Parts Company in December 2010 as a Driver.

18.

Mr. Amaya stood in a supervisory position over Plaintiff.

19.

          From March of 2011 until October 2012, Mr. Amaya sexually harassed Plaintiff nearly every time that he worked with her.

20.

          The sexual harassment was severe or pervasive, altering the terms and conditions of Plaintiff’s employment.

21.

          Mr. Amaya told Plaintiff, “I like thick girls.”

22.

          Mr. Amaya told Plaintiff, “You have a nice body.”

23.

          Mr. Amaya told Plaintiff, “I like white girls.”

24.

          Mr. Amaya told Plaintiff, “You make me excited.”

25.

          Mr. Amaya told Plaintiff, “I can show you a good time.”

26.

          Mr. Amaya asked Plaintiff, “When are we going out?”

27.

          Mr. Amaya asked Plaintiff how many drinks it would take for her to get up on a table and dance.

28.

          Mr. Amaya also touched Plaintiff without her permission or consent on numerous occasions.

29.

          Mr. Amaya rubbed Plaintiff’s backside.

30.

          Mr. Amaya squeezed Plaintiff’s backside.

31.

          Mr. Amaya slapped Plaintiff’s backside.

32.

          Mr. Amaya used his fingers to poke Plaintiff’s nipples.

 33.

          Mr. Amaya reached across a table and squeezed Plaintiff’s breasts.

34.

          Mr. Amaya stuck his hand inside Plaintiff’s shirt in an attempt to feel her breasts.

35.

          Mr. Amaya grabbed Plaintiff’s genitals.

36.

Mr. Amaya approached Plaintiff from behind and rubbed his genitals on her backside.

37.

          Mr. Amaya has asked Plaintiff what color her undergarments were.  When she did not answer, Mr. Amaya pulled at her shirt and pants in an attempt to look for himself.

38.

          Mr. Amaya was transferred from the store in which Plaintiff worked to another store in October 2012.

 

 39.

          After his transfer, Mr. Amaya continued to sexually harass Plaintiff when she traveled to Mr. Amaya’s store to retrieve parts and supplies.

40.

Defendant had knowledge of Mr. Amaya’s propensity for sexual harassment.

41.

          Manager Kyle Keith was aware of Mr. Amaya’s propensity for sexual harassment.

42.

          Manager “Brandon” was aware of Mr. Amaya’s propensity for sexual harassment.

43.

          Plaintiff complained to Assistant Manager Bryan Royal about the harassment.

44.

          Assistant Manager Jeremy Gilmore was aware of Mr. Amaya’s propensity for sexual harassment.

 

 45.

          On or before October 2012, Plaintiff had a discussion with co-workers about Mr. Amaya’s sexual harassment.  During the conversation, Plaintiff and other co-workers said that they planned to submit statements about Mr. Amaya’s sexual harassment to company management.

46.

          District Manager “Marc” witnessed this conversation.

47.

Genuine Parts Company failed to take appropriate remedial actions to correct the sexual harassment.

48.

          None of the individuals listed above, nor anyone else from Genuine Parts Company, addressed Mr. Amaya’s sexual harassment.

49.

          Genuine Parts Company created a hostile work environment that Mary Stevenson was required to endure as a condition of employment.

 

 50.

Genuine Parts Company chose not to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, despite its knowledge of its employee’s propensity for sexual harassment.

Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

51.

Plaintiff worked for Defendants from December 2010 through February 8, 2013.

52.

          Plaintiff performed non-exempt labor for Defendant within the last three years.

53.

          Plaintiff’s primary job duty included the delivery of auto parts.

54.

          During the relevant time period, Plaintiff worked an amount of time that was more than forty (40) hours per workweek and was not paid the overtime wage differential.

55.

          Plaintiff worked through her lunch break nearly every day.

56.

On occasions when Plaintiff clocked out for less than 30 minutes for lunch, Manager Keith Kyle changed her recorded time in the time management system to reflect a full 30 minute break.

57.

          Mr. Kyle adjusted the time for Plaintiff’s lunch break to 30 minutes regardless of whether Plaintiff was working during that time.

58.

Plaintiff frequently continued to work after her shift was scheduled to end.

59.

          Several times per month, a member of management would adjust Plaintiff’s recorded time in the time management system to reflect the time her shift was scheduled to end, not the time that Plaintiff actually stopped working.

60.

          The time Plaintiff began working was also not accurately recorded on many occasions.

 

 61.

          On occasions when Plaintiff worked after her shift was scheduled to end, during her lunch break, or time at the beginning of her shift prior to clocking into the time management system, Plaintiff’s work week exceeded forty (40) hours.

62.

Plaintiff was not paid the overtime wage differential required by FLSA §7, 29 U.S.C. §207 on the occasions that Plaintiff worked over forty (40) hours in a work week.

V.      CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

FEDERAL CLAIMS FOR RELIEF AGAINST GENUINE PARTS COMPANY

Violation of Title VII

63.

          Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.

64.

          On a consistent basis during Plaintiff’s employment, Mr. Amaya subjected her to sexual harassment.  Plaintiff was obligated to work in an atmosphere that was hostile by virtue of unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, sex based comments, sexual innuendo and other sexually charged conduct.

65.

This sexual harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of employment and create a working environment that was intimidating, insulting and abusive to employees.

66.

          Because of its failure to take prompt and remedial action, and its deliberate indifference to sexually hostile conduct, Genuine Parts Company has intentionally engaged in unlawful employment practices in violation of Title VII.

67.

          The effect of the conduct complained of herein has been to deprive Plaintiff of equal employment opportunity, and has otherwise adversely affected her status as an employee because of sex.

68.

          As a direct and proximate result of Genuine Parts Company’s violation of Title VII, Plaintiff has been made the victim of acts that have adversely affected her psychological and physical well-being.

Claims for Relief under Civil Rights Act of 1991

69.

Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.

70.

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company permitted its employee to act in a hostile manner towards Plaintiff and other employees, and in failing and refusing to take any appropriate remedial action to remedy the unlawful employment practices has not only deprived Plaintiff of equal employment opportunities, but exhibits malice or reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of Plaintiff.

71.

          As a direct and proximate result of Defendant Genuine Parts Company’s unlawful employment practices, Plaintiff has been embarrassed, humiliated and has suffered damage to her emotional health.

72.

          Plaintiff thus seeks compensatory and punitive damages pursuant to §102(a)(1) of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

Violation of the Overtime Wage Requirement of

the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

73.

Defendant has violated FLSA §7, 29 U.S.C. §207, by failing to pay overtime wages for time that Plaintiff worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek.

 

74.

          Defendant suffered and permitted Plaintiff to routinely work more than forty (40) hours per week without overtime compensation.

75.

          Defendant’s actions, policies and/or practices violate the FLSA’s overtime requirement by regularly and repeatedly failing to compensate Plaintiff at the required overtime rate.

76.

Defendant knew, or showed reckless disregard for the fact that it failed to pay these individuals overtime compensation in violation of the FLSA.

77.

          Defendant failed to accurately report, record and/or preserve records of hours worked by Plaintiff, and thus has failed to make, keep and preserve records with respect to each of their employees sufficient to determine their wages, hours and other conditions and practices of employment, in violation of the FLSA.

78.

          Defendant’s conduct was willful and in bad faith.

 

 

79.

Pursuant to FLSA §16, 29 U.S.C. §216, Plaintiff brings this lawsuit to recover overtime wage differential, liquidated damages in an equal amount, attorneys’ fees, and the costs of this litigation.

 

STATE LAW CLAIMS FOR RELIEF AGAINST GENUINE PARTS COMPANY

 

Negligent and Wrongful Hiring, Retention and Hiring

 

80.  

Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.

81.  

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company knew, or in the exercise of ordinary diligence, should have known of the propensity of its employees to engage in sexually offensive conduct toward other employees, and Mary Stevenson in particular.

82.  

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company nevertheless failed and refused to act to protect Mary Stevenson.

 

 83.  

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company is thus liable to Mary Stevenson for all of the damages sustained as a result.

Negligent Failure to Present Sexual Harassment

84.  

Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.

85.  

Defendant Genuine Parts Company had a duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

86.  

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company failed to use ordinary care to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, causing Mary Stevenson to be sexually harassed.

87.  

          The conduct of Defendant Genuine Parts Company was consciously or recklessly indifferent to the inevitable or probable consequences of its conduct in failing to remedy the harassment.

 

 

88.  

          Defendant Genuine Parts Company is thus liable to Mary Stevenson for all of the damages sustained as a result.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

89.  

          Defendant’s conduct was extreme and outrageous.

90.  

          Defendant intended to inflict severe emotional distress or knew that it was a high probability that the conduct would do so.

91.  

          Defendant’s conduct actually caused severe emotional distress.

92.  

Defendant is liable for all general and special damages proximately resulting from the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Battery

93.  

Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.

 94.

On every occasion that Mr. Amaya touched Plaintiff in an offensive manner, without Plaintiff’s permission or other justification, Mr. Amaya committed battery against Plaintiff.

95.

Defendant is liable for all general and special damages proximately resulting from each battery of Plaintiff.

Attorneys’ Fees And Expenses Of Litigation,

O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11

 

96.

Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein.

97.

Defendant has acted in bad faith, been stubbornly litigious, and/or caused Plaintiff unnecessary trouble and expense in litigating this case, and Plaintiff is thus entitled to recovery of the expenses of this litigation, including attorneys’ fees, under Georgia law, including but not limited to O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11.

Punitive Damages, O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1

98.  

          Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.

99.

          The foregoing acts of Defendants were intentional and humiliating, and evince a conscious disregard for the circumstances and rights of others, and a specific intent to cause harm.  Plaintiff is entitled to recover from Defendant, in addition to compensatory damages, an award of punitive damages under the law of Georgia to punish Defendants, or to deter them from repeating such wrongful acts.

 

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff judgment as follows:

(a)                                      General damages for mental and emotional suffering caused by Defendant’s misconduct;

(b)                                     Punitive damages based on Defendant’s willful, malicious, intentional, and deliberate acts, including ratification, condonation and approval of said acts;

(c)                                      Special damages and/or liquidated damages for lost wages and benefits and prejudgment interest thereon;

(d)                                     Reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation;

(e)                                      Trial by jury as to all issues;

(f)                                       Prejudgment interest at the rate allowed by law;

(g)                                      Declaratory relief to the effect that Defendant Genuine Parts Company has violated Plaintiff’s statutory rights;

(h)                                      Injunctive relief of reinstatement, or front pay in lieu thereof, and prohibiting Defendant Genuine Parts Company from further unlawful conduct of the type described herein; and

(i)                                        All other relief to which he may be entitled.

Respectfully submitted the 30th day of April, 2013.

 

BARRETT & FARAHANY, LLP

 

 

 s/Abigail J. Larimer        

Abigail J. Larimer, Esq.

GeorgiaBar No. 999229

abigail@bf-llp.com

 

Attorney for Plaintiff Mary Stevenson

 

1100 Peachtree Street, N.E.

Suite500

Atlanta,GA30309

(404) 214-0120

 

 

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