MIAMI – A Miami-Dade County woman filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Miami Division, against a Miami company claiming that she was a victim of retaliatory discharge under the Fair Labor Standards, the Florida Whistleblower Act and age discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act.
Susana Herboso filed a complaint May 16 against Pollo Operations Inc. and Dinolays Vera alleging that she was discriminated against due to her age.
The plaintiff claims she was employed by Pollo Operations, a restaurant business operating as Pollo Tropical in the U.S. from Aug. 28, 2000 until May 5, 2017.
The plaintiff claims she was promoted to the position on general manager in 2008.
In September 2016, Hugo Gutierrez, 45, began working in the position of regional director of operating and the plaintiff reported to him in the chain of command, the filing said. The plaintiff claims she was 59 years old at this time and Gutierrez made it clear that he wanted younger employees given the opportunity to be general managers.
The plaintiff claims she began to be discriminated against by Gutierrez due to her age and in September or November of 2016 he began making complaints about her work performance.
The plaintiff claims she was given a performance action plan on Dec. 7, 2016, in which Gutierrez claimed that the plaintiff's sales were low, which was not true. The filing said Herboso was the only general manager to be given a performance action plan.
On Feb. 6, 2017, the plaintiff claims she was denoted to assistant manager to make room for a "younger manager to serve as general manager."
The plaintiff claimed she started reporting to Dinolays Vera after her demotion. On April 23, 2017, the plaintiff claims she began to complain about the defendant's actions, which were unlawful, as well as the fact that the employees were not being paid overtime. The filing claimed that in retaliation for Herboso's complaint, the defendant terminated the plaintiff's employment on May 5, 2017, claiming that the plaintiff had not followed food safety guidelines.
The plaintiff demands judgment against the defendants as well as back pay, reinstatement or front pay, liquidated judgments, pre-and post-judgment interest, taxable costs and reasonable attorney's fees.
The plaintiff is represented by attorney Diane P. Perez of Coral Gables.