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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2014 / FCHR Order No. 14-020

FCHR Order No. 14-020

Date of Release: 06/11/2014

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

CARLOS OLASCOAGA

EEOC Case No.

511201202290

Petitioner

FCHR Case No.

2013-00238

v.

DOAH Case No.

13-4942

CROWLEY MARINE SERVICES, INC.

FCHR Order No. 14-020

Respondent

 

FINAL ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR

RELIEF FROM AN UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE

This matter is before the Commission for consideration of the Recommended Order of Dismissal, dated April 11, 2014, issued in the above-styled matter by Administrative Law Judge D. R. Alexander.

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Judge Alexander’s order reflects that at the final hearing on this matter, on March 24, 2014, the issue was raised as to whether the Commission had jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute given Petitioner’s execution of a confidential settlement agreement which released all claims, including those set forth in the Petition for Relief. Specifically, Judge Alexander found that Petitioner’s employment was terminated on June 29, 2012, Petitioner filed a charge of discrimination on July 24, 2012, and Petitioner signed a settlement agreement on August 18, 2012, in which Petitioner agreed to release Respondent from all claims, including a release of “any and all claims under the Florida Civil Rights Act…” Judge Alexander’s order recommends that the Commission enter an order dismissing the Petition for Relief, noting that, “The release signed by Petitioner is unambiguous, and neither party has suggested that the agreement was entered into on the basis of mistake.”

We note that Commission Panels have concluded that cases should be dismissed when Petitioners have executed general releases similar to that executed in the instant case. See, e.g., Tolbert v. Department of Economic Opportunity, FCHR Order No. 13-047 (June 19, 2013), Miles v. MacFarlane, Ferguson and McMullen, P.A., FCHR Order No. 11-018 (March 2, 2011) and Bovea v. Mercantile Commercebank, FCHR order No. 09-089 (September 22, 2009).

We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s findings as to the execution and content of the release agreement and conclude that the Complaint of Discrimination and Petition for Relief be dismissed with prejudice.

FCHR Order No. 14-020

Page 2

Exceptions

Petitioner filed exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s Recommended Order of Dismissal, received by the Commission on or about April 24, 2014.

There is no indication on the document that it was provided to Respondent as is required by Fla. Admin. Code R. 28-106.104(4) and Fla. Admin. Code R. 28-106.110. However, the Commission published the document to the Respondent, and placed the document in the record of this case, through the issuance of a notice of ex parte communication, mailed to the parties on April 28, 2014.

Petitioner’s exceptions document seems to attempt to raise claims not initially presented in the Complaint of Discrimination, and suggests that Respondent violated the settlement agreement between the parties.

Allegations not contained in the initial Complaint of Discrimination may not subsequently be raised in the case. See, e.g., Breville v. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, FCHR Order No. 13-030 (May 1, 2013), and cases cited therein. In addition, the Commission is without authority to enforce settlement agreements entered into in cases brought pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992. See Balzanti v. Shared Solutions and Services, Inc. / Arrow Electronics, FCHR Order No. 13-045 (June 19, 2013), and cases cited therein.

Petitioner’s exceptions are 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 of appeal is found in Section 120.68, Florida Statutes, and in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.110.

DONE AND ORDERED this 11th day of June , 2014.

FOR THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS:

Commissioner Michael Keller, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Donna Elam; and

Commissioner Rebecca Steele

Filed this 11th day of June , 2014,

in Tallahassee, Florida.

FCHR Order No. 14-020

Page 3

/s/

Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Carlos Olascoaga

2067 Cedar Park Lane

Orlando, FL 32824-4605

Crowley Marine Services, Inc.

c/o Kelly L. DeGance, Esq.

Alexander DeGance Barnett, P.A.

225 Water Street, Suite 1200

Jacksonville, FL 32202-5181

D. R. Alexander, 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 11th day of June , 2014.

By: /s/

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations