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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2011 / FCHR Order No. 11-078

FCHR Order No. 11-078

Date of Release: 10/06/2011

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

DR. PHILLIP ST. LOUIS

EEOC Case No. 15D201000350

Petitioner

FCHR Case No. 2010-01617

 

DOAH Case No. 10-9141

v.

 

FLORIDA PHYSICIAN MEDICAL GROUP

FCHR Order No. 11-078

Respondent

 

FINAL ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR

RELIEF FROM AN UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE

Preliminary Matters

Petitioner Dr. Phillip St. Louis filed a complaint of discrimination pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, Sections 760.01 - 760.11, Florida Statutes (2009), alleging that Respondent Florida Physician Medical Group committed an unlawful employment practice on the bases of Petitioner’s race (Black) and National Origin (Trinidad) by failing to hire Petitioner.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on August 27, 2010, the Executive Director issued his determination finding that there was no reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful employment practice had occurred.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Relief from an Unlawful Employment Practice, and the case was transmitted to the Division of Administrative Hearings for the conduct of a formal proceeding.

An evidentiary hearing was held in Orlando, Florida, on May 4 and 5, 2011, before Administrative Law Judge J. D. Parrish.

Judge Parrish issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated August 3, 2011.

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

We find the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact to be supported by competent substantial evidence.

We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact.

FCHR Order No. 11-078

Page 2

Conclusions of Law

We find the Administrative Law Judge’s application of the law to the facts to result in a correct disposition of the matter.

We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s conclusions of law.

Exceptions

Petitioner filed exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s Recommended Order in a document entitled “Memorandum of Law – Exceptions to Recommended Order.” The document was filed with the Division of Administrative Hearings on August 15, 2011.

While the exceptions document was filed with the Division of Administrative Hearings instead of the Commission, the document was timely filed, and the Commission will consider the document even though it was filed in the wrong forum. Accord, generally, Garcia v. Heart of Florida Medical Center, FCHR Order No. 10-061 (August 10, 2010) and Lane v. Terry Laboratories, Inc., FCHR Order No. 08-022 (April 14, 2008), and cases cited therein.

Respondent subsequently filed “Respondent’s Response to Petitioner’s Exceptions to Recommended Order.”

Petitioner’s exceptions document contains 14 numbered exceptions paragraphs. In each instance, except exceptions paragraph 11, the exceptions paragraphs take issue with facts found (1, 4, 5, 12, 13), suggest facts not found (8), take issue with inferences drawn from the evidence presented (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7), and / or contain explanation or argument as to the significance or correctness of the fact found (6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14).

The Commission has stated, “It is well settled that it is the Administrative Law Judge’s function ‘to consider all of the evidence presented and reach ultimate conclusions of fact based on competent substantial evidence by resolving conflicts, judging the credibility of witnesses and drawing permissible inferences therefrom. If the evidence presented supports two inconsistent findings, it is the Administrative Law Judge’s role to decide between them.’ Beckton v. Department of Children and Family Services, 21 F.A.L.R. 1735, at 1736 (FCHR 1998), citing Maggio v. Martin Marietta Aerospace, 9 F.A.L.R. 2168, at 2171 (FCHR 1986).” Barr v. Columbia Ocala Regional Medical Center, 22 F.A.L.R. 1729, at 1730 (FCHR 1999). Accord, Bowles v. Jackson County Hospital Corporation, FCHR Order No. 05-135 (December 6, 2005).

Further, it has been stated, “The ultimate question of the existence of discrimination is a question of fact.” Florida Department of Community Affairs v. Bryant, 586 So. 2d 1205, at 1209 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). Accord, Coley v. Bay County Board of County Commissioners, FCHR Order No. 10-027 (March 17, 2010).

Noting that we have above found the facts as found by the Administrative Law Judge to be supported by competent substantial evidence and the Administrative Law

FCHR Order No. 11-078

Page 3

Judge’s application of the law to the facts to result in a correct disposition of the matter, Petitioner’s above-described exceptions are rejected.

Exceptions paragraph 11 argues that the Administrative Law Judge “…failed to delineate any standard for [proof of the case by] indirect or circumstantial evidence.”

In our view, the conclusions of law set out at Recommended Order, ¶ 31 through

¶ 35, adequately address the issue that proof by circumstantial evidence was not established in this case.

Petitioner’s exception as set out in exceptions paragraph 11 is rejected.

Dismissal

The Petition 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 Procedure 9.110.

DONE AND ORDERED this 6th day of October , 2011.

FOR THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS:

Commissioner Mario M. Valle, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Watson Haynes, II; and

Commissioner Lizzette Romano

Filed this 6th day of October , 2011,

in Tallahassee, Florida.

_________/s/____________________

Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

FCHR Order No. 11-078

Page 4

NOTICE TO COMPLAINANT / PETITIONER

As your complaint was filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you have the right to request EEOC to review this Commission’s final agency action. To secure a “substantial weight review” by EEOC, you must request it in writing within 15 days of your receipt of this Order. Send your request to Miami District Office (EEOC), One Biscayne Tower, 2 South Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2700, 27th Floor, Miami, FL 33131.

Copies furnished to:

Dr. Phillip St. Louis

c/o Jerry Girley, Esq.

The Girley Law Firm, P.A.

125 East Marks Street

Orlando, FL 32803

Florida Physician Medical Group

c/o Alan M. Gerlach, Esq.

Adventist Health System – Legal Services

111 North Orlando Avenue

Winter Park, FL 32789-3675

Florida Physician Medical Group

c/o Mark H. Jamieson, Esq.

Moran Kidd Lyons Johnson & Berkson, P.A.

111 North Orange Avenue, Suite 1200

Orlando, FL 32801-2361

J. D. Parrish, Administrative Law Judge, DOAH

James Mallue, Legal Advisor for Commission Panel

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed to the above listed addressees this 6th day of October , 2011.

By: ________/s/__________________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations