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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2013 / FCHR Order No. 13-036

FCHR Order No. 13-036

Date of Release: 05/08/2013

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

VICTORIA CARTER

EEOC Case No. NONE

Petitioner

FCHR Case No. 2011-02563

 

DOAH Case No. 12-1182

v.

 

AT AND T CORP.

FCHR Order No. 13-036

Respondents

 

FINAL ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR

RELIEF FROM AN UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE

Preliminary Matters

Petitioner Victoria Carter filed a complaint of discrimination pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, Sections 760.01 - 760.11, Florida Statutes (2010), alleging that Respondent AT and T Corp. committed unlawful employment practices on the basis of retaliation against Petitioner for filing an earlier discrimination complaint.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on February 27, 2012, the Executive Director issued a 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 Jacksonville, Florida, on October 24, 2012, before Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins.

Judge Watkins issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated February 13, 2013.

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. 13-036

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, “Petitioner’s Exceptions to Recommended Order,” received by the Commission on February 28, 2013.

Petitioner’s exception document contains 11 numbered paragraphs. Paragraphs 1 through 6 of the exceptions document take exception to the following Recommended Order findings of fact paragraphs: 9, 11, 32, 34 through 37, and 43 through 46. In each instance the exception presented takes issue with facts found, facts not found and / or inferences drawn from the evidence presented.

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) and Eaves v. IMT-LB Central Florida Portfolio, LLC, FCHR Order No. 11-029 (March 17, 2011).

In addition, 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) and Eaves, supra.

Based on the foregoing, and noting that we have above adopted the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact, Petitioner’s exceptions to the indicated findings of fact are rejected.

Paragraphs 7 through 11 of Petitioner’s exceptions document take exception to indicated Recommended Order conclusion of law paragraphs.

Having above adopted the Administrative Law Judge’s conclusions of law, indicating that the Administrative Law Judge’s application of the law to the facts results in a correct disposition of the matter, Petitioner’s exceptions to the indicated conclusions of law are rejected.

FCHR Order No. 13-036

Page 3

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 8th day of May , 2013.

FOR THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS:

Commissioner Gilbert M. Singer, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Michell Long; and

Commissioner Mario M. Valle

Filed this 8th day of May , 2013,

in Tallahassee, Florida.

__________/s/_________________

Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Victoria Carter

c/o Neil L. Henrichsen, Esq.

Henrichsen Siegel, P.L.L.C.

1648 Osceola Street

Jacksonville, FL 32204

FCHR Order No. 13-036

Page 4

AT and T Corp.

c/o Anthony Hall, Esq.

c/o Melanie Zaharias, Esq.

Littler Mendelson, PC

111 North Magnolia Avenue, Suite 1250

Orlando, FL 32801

W. David Watkins, 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 8th day of May , 2013.

By: ________/s/________________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations