On March 5, 2004, Petitioner filed a
complaint of discrimination pursuant to Florida Civil Rights Act
of 1992, Sections 760.01-760.11, Florida Statutes (2001),
alleging that the Respondent committed an unlawful employment
practice when she was unfairly treated and, ultimately,
terminated because of her race and in retaliation to her
asserting her rights. The allegations set forth in the
complaint were investigated and on August 23, 2004, the
Executive Director issued his determination that there was no
reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory act
occurred. The Petitioner filed a Petition for Relief and was
given a formal evidentiary hearing in Tallahassee, Florida, on
October 13, 2004. Petitioner failed to make an appearance at
Judge Stephen F. Dean, issued a Recommended
Order of Dismissal dated October 29, 2004.
The Commission panel designated below
considered the record of this matter and determined the action
to be taken on the Recommended Order.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of
Judge Dean’s order states that
Petitioner failed to appear at a formal hearing that he
requested under Section 120.57(1), Florida Statutes.
With regard to the steps necessary for
establishing that an unlawful employment practice has occurred,
it has been stated, “The initial burden is upon Petitioner to
establish a prima facie case of discrimination. Once Petitioner
established a prima facie case, a presumption of unlawful
discrimination is created. The burden then shifts to Respondent
to show a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its action.
If Respondent carries this burden, Petitioner then must prove by
a preponderance of the evidence that the reason offered by the
Respondent is not its true reason, but only a pretext for
discrimination.” See conclusions of law adopted by a Commission
panel in Spradlin vs. Washington Mutual Bank,d/b/a Great
Western. 23 F.A.L.R. 3359, at 3364, 3365 (FCHR 2001),
citations from the quoted statement omitted.
We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s
finding as to the fact that the Petitioner did not pursue the
complaint and further conclude the Petitioner has failed to
carry her burden of proof.
Neither party filed any
exceptions to the Recommended Order.
The Request for Relief and Complaint of
Discrimination are DISMISSED with prejudice.
The parties have the right to seek judicial review of this
Order. The Commission and the appropriate District Court of
Appeal must receive notice of appeal within 30 days of the date
this Order is filed with the Clerk of the Commission.
Explanation of the right to appeal is found in Section 120.68,
Florida Statutes, and in the Florida Rules of Appellate
Done and Ordered this 23rd day of December, 2004.
For The Florida Commission on Human Relations.