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Domestic violence shelter accused of wrongful termination

The Betty Griffin House is a special shelter for the victims of domestic violence located in St. John's County, Florida. Recently, six ex-employees of the shelter claim that they were wrongfully terminated from the Betty Griffin House. They also claim that the organization had hazardous safety conditions while they worked there.

Court documents outline claims related to racial discrimination, employees not being paid minimum wage and retaliation. Allegedly, the employees were terminated in retaliation for reporting the organization's various Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations. Six ex-employees claim that they had to work without air-conditioning, in a room that was full of black mold and had a leaky roof while ceiling tiles fell on top of them. The lawsuit also alleges that rats and rat feces predominated the building, and there were also a number of fire hazards caused by overstocking.

The lawsuit claims that OSHA inspected the facility last April, and the inspection resulted in almost 24 citations. Following the OSHA visit, certain employees were intimidated and bullied by the organization's management, and eventually, they were fired. At this time, Betty Griffin House has yet to respond to reporters who have requested comments on the pending lawsuit.

Wrongful termination lawsuits in the state of Florida can take many forms. However, one common theme in such lawsuits is retaliation. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a Florida employee to be retaliated against for reporting safety violations that his or her employer refuses to correct. That retaliation could take the form of wrongful termination, reduced work hours, reduced pay, unfair punishments and more.

Source: news4jax.com, "Lawsuit claims Betty Griffin House thrift store unlawfully fired whistleblowers," Francesca Amiker, Sep. 27, 2016

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