Florida Employer Found Guilty Of Firing Woman Over Jury Duty

Jane Trejo-Beverly fired jury duty A Florida woman who sued her former employer for firing her while reporting to jury duty is breathing easier after a court ruling earlier this week found she was discharged illegally.

"I'm very happy that the judge decided on the right thing to do," the employee, Juanita "Jane" Trejo-Beverly (pictured), told the Naples News Daily, "because this helps employees who are hard at work during this downturn in the economy go to jury duty -- and lets them know their jobs are protected,"

Trejo-Beverly, 49, was working as a bilingual closer at a real estate title company, Island Title 5 Star Agency on Marco Island, when she learned on an evening last December that she had to report to jury duty the next day. She promptly advised her supervisors via text messages and emails. The next morning, she sent another text message and received a response from her supervisor.

At the courthouse later that day, however, she received a voice-mail message from her supervisor advising that she had been fired from her position at the local company, which also has an office in Naples. Learning of the news, she began to cry outside the jury room. A concerned court clerk asked her why she was upset, and Trejo-Beverly explained what had happened.

The clerk said it was against state law to terminate an employee for reporting for jury duty. A bailiff informed Collier County Judge Mike Provost of the incident, and judge and juror met briefly to discuss the incident. Within hours, Trejo-Beverly's supervisor, Dawn Norgren, was summoned to court, where she pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor contempt charge.

Trejo-Beverly also filed a lawsuit against the company, as permitted by state law. The statute allows employees to sue for compensatory and punitive damages, should employers take action against them for reporting for jury duty.

During court testimony Friday, Norgren, 57, and another high level employee at the local real-estate title company, denied that Trejo-Beverly had been "terminated" and testified that she was too inexperienced for the job they'd hired her to do, the newspaper reported.

"I was terminating her position in Marco and bringing her to Naples," Norgren testified, after describing how she'd "terminated" Trejo-Beverly twice and moved her to lesser jobs to train her, the Marco Eagle reported.

In her testimony, however, Trejo-Beverly provided emails and a voicemail supporting her contention that she had been fired on the morning that she reported for jury duty.

After considering the roughly two hours of testimony, Provost rejected Island Title's claims and found Norgren guilty of indirect contempt and sentenced her to three months of probation and 50 hours of community service. He also fined her $500.

"Ms. Norgren might have had a reason to terminate Ms. Trejo-Beverly, but a later time would have been better," Provost said in making his ruling. "This may have been a reaction more than anything else, but unfortunately, it was a reaction during her jury service."

In an interview with AOL Jobs, Trejo-Beverly's lawyer, Bernard Mazaheri, called Norgren's actions "reprehensible" and said they "discourage employees and jurors from participating in the judicial system and that's really unacceptable."

He also said that Trejo-Beverly's lawsuit against Island Title will proceed. The Naples News Daily noted that Tuesday's ruling bolsters that case.



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jcsbox2442

continued next article this guy was 56 yds away from the victim with a 6 powered scope that is only less than 30 ft actually 26ft he knew the victim was there he says he seen antler and he went to the ground and pulled the trigger shot this guy in his chest with a 300 magnum. he then used the excuse it was too brushy to see. The game commision had what they call a shot line photo. I didnt get to see that . only heard the info from the attorneys to the juriors. The Game commissioners could not find one branch that this bullet hit before the victim. The coroner, that did the autopsy, of course they tried to discredit her, as not being a ballistics expert, then said the bullet left a perfect burn circle as it entered his chest and if it had hit anything else it would not have done that instead it would have been most likely a bigger hole because it would have flattened out at least not have been round any longer. his comfort and appology to the family was pathetic. "You can put me in jail but one day I will get out but Scott will never come home" with his fake tears. in my opinion was I killed him in cold blood and I got away with it almost ha ha I believe the jury felt the same way. I asked the commisioners why they didnt charge him with murder one they said there wasnt any evidence such as the argument between his son and the victim the familys know it to be a murder both familys ost of the ones that were tere left before the commissioners arrived afraid of being charged or shot themselves I know people now that knew without a doubt he had threated this boy before there is even people in his family that has told people he did this on purpose if i had set on the jury and the evidence brought out in this case alone without anything else if they had charged him with murder one I may not have gotten a premeditated murder because may hve been a little hard to proove he planed to murder him but at the moment he pulled the trigger he meant to kill this boy without a doubt but if there had been the evidence brought into the court room from someone else at the scene stateing the argument betwen his son and the boy I could have found him guilty of premeditated murder in the first degree and gave him life so yea he is another beside oj that got away with murder.but he has 10 years to think about it. there again drugs alcohol and firearms as his lawer said was the setting of the perfect storm I spell lawer right that is why they changed it to attorneys too close to what they really do say it real fast 3 times and that is what most of them are lol they put the y in there to make it sound better till people left the y out too much and said what they really are lol back to the subject at hand if a lot less of the ones that write these articles would do a litte research and know what they are talking about and stop acusing this lady of lieing. why she was fired. C I believe she deserves more than what she gets as u can see her rep is ruined by 1s like u

February 17 2012 at 2:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jcsbox2442

continued from jurior) You also are told to tell them of any hardship or any problems you may have if you were to be a jurior doesnt exempt you by any means. If you have financial problems getting to and from the court house that will be acomondated, usually by the sherifs office. If the case is going to take several days and you are sequestured as I said meals will usually be provided by the courts didnt say steak dinners nor did I say happy meals. I feel sure if you tell the clerk during lunch breaks or dnner breaks that you do not have the funds to buy something to eat with, accomondations will be made. because they do not want a hungry jurior in the jury box lol. They will also pay for the hotel or motel they take you to. there will not be any radios or t.v.s you are not allowed to use your phones not allowed to use any form of newsmedia or be near anyone discussing the case no computers nothing that can tant you as an unbiased jurior this is the way it has to be but as we all know some will still lie to set on the jury the last case i was envolved with this lady set o that jury she knew way too much about the she knew most of the people on both sides and told the judge she could give and unbiased verdict finally the defence did strike her there were over half truely should not have set on that jury wjich with a good defence lawyer he could get a mistrial out of it but what can i say he should have ben tried for murder one instead of involuntary manslauter the max he could have goten was 10 yrs for involuntary manslaughter they gave him 9 they also charged him with wreckless indangerment which carried a maximum 2500.00 fine and 1 year in jail they found him guilty of that gave him the maximum sentence and found him not guilty on a charge in my opinion he was as guilty as sin of I heard the whole case was hunting while uder the inflence of narcotics his drug test was positive.4 which the expert said had him completely unable to basicly control his emotions come on and find him not guilty what were they smoking lol i also dont think they relized they could have given him the full ten years on the first charge and the full on the second charge and should have given him the full on the third charge he did in my opininion pissed the jury off with his piss poor excuse of an oppology to the family while in the whole case blames the desceedant for his I call murder using the deal he didn't wear blazed orange claiming the hat in the photo belonged to him I knew verry little about the case that was why I was so interested to hear the whole case. there were a major problem drugs and alcohol by all partys no one that wasnt scared of being charged to tell the truth but the liars on his side in the court and they did a verry lousy job of that in court that was what else hung him his witnesses could nt even get their stories anywhere close only hat they thouth was biased to him i love splitn witnesses. continued jcsbox244 next article

February 17 2012 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jcsbox2442

First of all, either Florida doesnt know how to do the jury deal, or all of these comments except for one are way off base. Then again we are dealing with Florida and the pregnant chads and this and that they need to get their crap together once and for all. They say W. Va. is behind lol . Yes I live in one of the right to work states it has it advantages and disadvantages, as well as a lot of the unions. as one spoke up on the subject. Thanks to the unions we have companies that went broke because all they knew when a new contract was to be agreed upon was they had to get more and more and more till there wasn't enough to keep the company afloat. I have watched this happen too many times. I am not at all saying let companies and C.E.O.'s walk over employees as they do in the right to work states as we can see here. Someone that needs to be a witness in court , they should be all compensated by the courts and excused by all employers. The person or persons that loose their case in court should bear the total burden for these expenses they pay for the court appointed lawyers, if they loose in a lot of states, they also pay COURT cost so add the total COURT COST including what it cost the employer while the employee is not at work. It is a cost associated with the courts. You then, would not have so much hostility towards the employee, now would we ? I can understand employers. Some employers are responsible to pay the employees as if they were at work. So yes it cost the employer. Now as far as the idiot saying the juriors are not paid, evidently he or she hasn't been on a jury or called for jury duty. It is a federal law juriors are paid, not positive if the cost changes from state to state or for, like supreme courts or federal court but in Virginia you are sent info. for the term that you are to serve on jury duty. You are not told of any case or anthing about any case in advance but you get a juroirs packet with questions and answers and a description of your duties as a jurior and even if you draw the short straw and become a jurior foreperson yes a lady can and has been a forewoman as well as forman it is not biased to that aspect either. You have to respond to the court in a specified amt of time giving the court contact info and any dates in the term you cannot make it to court such as doctor apt. court dates ect. they wll work around it if they can but not necessarily they need a number to contack you a few hours prior to court i was notified 3 times @ 8 pm. the evening before. In Va. a prospected jurior whether you set on the jury or not if you have to show up in court even for one hour you are paid 30.00 a day while you are summoned to court if you actually do set on the jury then there could be more expences incurred that the courts will pay for such as if you are sequestured they will pay for reasonable parking fees tranportation fees usually provided by the sheriffs dept. and for meals . continued from jurior jcsbox2442

February 17 2012 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Babe

I live in Central Florida and we get a notice in the mail telling us when to report for Jury Duty. You can then fill out the paper if you have a reason you cannot attend and you call the night before to see if you have been excused. If not, you report for Jury Duty. You don't receive notice only the night before.They can't exactly give you no notice and expect you to be there. How would they even reach someone for Jury Duty at such short notice? Certainly not through the mail.... and they do not call you on the phone for that. At least thats not how it works here

February 12 2012 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ranting Loons

Ok, who gets summoned for Jury duty the night before. This lady seems like a bad employee that just happened to luck out and cash out. Here, with jury duty, you are notified the night before whether you need to report to the court, but you are _ON_ the entire week. You are also give WEEKS notice that you have to report. I cannot believe that this woman was just notified the night before. Unfortunately for the company they let her go that day - they should have waited till she came back.

February 10 2012 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ranting Loons's comment
Jay of Nazareth

You are notified the night before in Florida. Everyone knows this, why are you speaking out of your behind?

February 11 2012 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KF

The entire jury system is a joke, everyone else in the room is getting paid except the jurors. It is wrong for the government to compel the financial hardship upon a juror or a company without reimbursement. The only people who are taken care on jury duty of are the civil servants & big corporation people. Sound familiar?

February 02 2012 at 6:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
CATHERINE

This is nothing! Ms. Wallace of West Palm Beach Florida was warned by her orthodontist boss that she would be fired if she went to testify in court against the man who shot her and murdered her friend as they drove down i-95 in 2005. She testified and was fired immediately. The states attorney was told about it before she testified and did NOTHING when she was fired. Was she really supposed to let a murderer go free to keep her job? Florida is a garbage state.

February 02 2012 at 1:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
deandalton

Typical of Florida employers and any employer in a "Right to Work" state as well. Employees work "At Will" meaning they can be fired at any time for any reason. As soon as someone else shows up who can do the work for less, you are fired. Obviously the timing was off, but you can bet in the end this lady is out of job with that particular company.

January 30 2012 at 5:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to deandalton's comment
Steve

You are incorrect. "Right to work" and "at will" have nothing to do with it. Union and non-union businesses comply with the same state laws regarding jury duty. Trying to turn this topic into a discussion of union issues is way off base.

February 14 2012 at 8:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kim

I will marry her and she will never have to work again.

January 29 2012 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wllharrington

Which should show employers that if they want to terminate an employee they must document wrongdoing instead of using the easy way out.

January 29 2012 at 9:30 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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