ORLANDO — A former billing assistant has filed suit against a pediatric clinic for alleged unpaid wages and discrimination after a physician allegedly made disparaging remarks to her at a Thanksgiving work lunch. The plaintiff, who is Puerto Rican, reported the incident to human resources and claims she was fired afterward.

Yecenia Velez filed a complaint on Aug. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, against First Choice Pediatrics Inc., citing alleged racial discrimination, retaliation, unpaid wages, violation of workers compensation acts, and wrongful termination.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that between August 2013 and November 2014, she worked for more than 40 hours each week without being paid  overtime compensation. She alleges she was terminated as retaliation when she complained to  human resources about being racially discriminated. The plaintiff holds First Choice Pediatrics Inc. responsible because the defendant allegedly failed to pay any overtime premium to plaintiff for hours worked that exceeds 40 per week, in addition to other incidents.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensation for lost wages, reinstatement, back pay with interest, front pay, punitive damages, all legal fees and any other relief as the court deems appropriate. She is represented by Brandon J. Hill of Wenzel Fenton Cabassa P.A. in Tampa.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, case number 6:16-cv-01508-PGB-KRS

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