Groundskeeper awarded discrimination case

December 15, 2017

Justice has been served for a former groundskeeper of a 48-acre mobile home park in Tallahassee. He was fired after confronting his employer over racial bigotry, an act which found him awarded $4 million in damages in a discrimination lawsuit.

James Stock, the former owner of the Meadows, allegedly wrote a post on social media, claiming that black men were lazy and illiterate. Charles Kendrick, the employee who is black, confronted Stock about discriminatory work practices. Kendrick claims he was fired as a result shortly thereafter.

The jury, who were instructed to determine only damages, awarded Kendrick nearly $3.63 million in punitive damages along with $59,000 for lost wages and $350,000 for emotional pain and suffering. He worked at the Meadows from August 2012 to June 2015.

Kendrick’s lawyer, Gautier Kitchen, related that the large sum of punitive damages is meant to send a message to others in the community of what will and won’t be tolerated in business. Furthermore, the case will hopefully serve as a deterrent to those who operate a business in the area against similar actions.

Neither Stock nor anyone representing The Meadows appeared in court for the trial. As a result, Circuit Judge Karen Gievers found the defendants in default, holding them liable for all the allegations in the lawsuit.

The timeline of events follows according to the prosecution. At the end of 2014, Kendrick confronted his boss about the Facebook post, and from there, circumstances grew difficult for him at his job. In June 2015, he suffered heat stroke on the mobile home grounds. After missing a few days of work to recover, he was suspended for being four minutes late when he returned to work. He was told that he needed to file a workman’s compensation claim. When he returned the next day with the claim, he was terminated.

The mobile home park has been owned by Tally Land LLC since 2015. They did not return calls from the media.

If you feel that you were unjustly treated at your job due to race, you might want to take legal action both to protect your rights and to send a strong message to other businesses. Talk to our team of lawyers for help.

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