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STATE OF MICHIGAN

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF WAYNE

MIRIAH WALKER Case No. 18- -CD


Honorable
Plaintiff,

v.

HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM and


GILLIAN LEONOWICZ,

Defendants.

JONATHAN R. MARKO (P72450)


Marko Law, PLC
Attorney for Plaintiff
645 Griswold Street, Suite 4100
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 965-5555
Fax (313)955-5556
jon@ernstmarkolaw.com

There is no other civil action between these parties arising out of


the same transaction or occurrence as alleged in this Complaint
pending in this Court, nor has any such action been previously
filed and dismissed or transferred after having been assigned to a
judge, nor do I know of any other civil action, not between these
parties, arising out of the same transaction or occurrence as alleged
in this Complaint that is either pending or was previously filed and
dismissed, transferred or otherwise disposed of after having been
assigned to a Judge in this Court.

COMPLAINT AND JURY REQUEST

NOW COMES the Plaintiff, Miriah Walker, by and through her attorneys, MARKO

LAW, PLC, and for her Complaint against the above-named Defendants, states as follows:

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JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1. Miriah Walker (“Plaintiff”) is an African-American female, who resides in the

County of Wayne, State of Michigan.

2. At all times relevant, Plaintiff worked for Defendant Henry Ford Health System at

its office located at 1 Ford Place, Detroit, Michigan.

3. Defendant Henry Ford Health System (“HFHS”) is a company that conducts

business in the State of Michigan and does in fact regularly and systematically conduct business

in the County of Wayne, State of Michigan.

4. Defendant Gillian Leonowicz (“Leonowicz”), upon information and belief, is a

Caucasian female residing in the County of Wayne, State of Michigan, and works for HFHS as a

Contact Center Trainer.

5. The transactions and occurrences giving rise to this action took place in the

County of Wayne, State of Michigan.

6. The amount in controversy greatly exceeds this Court’s jurisdictional

requirement.

FACTS

7. Plaintiff, by reference, incorporates the preceding paragraphs of her Complaint as

though fully set forth herein.

8. Plaintiff was hired to work for Defendant HFHS in its Contact Center and began

employment on December 18, 2017.

9. On December 19, 2017, Plaintiff began classroom training, which was taught by

Defendant Leonowicz.

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10. Defendant Leonowicz explained her purpose as a trainer and informed the other

ten trainees, all African-American females, that she would be conducting their performance

evaluations.

11. On December 20, 2017, while presenting a slideshow as part of Plaintiff’s

classroom instruction, Defendant Leonowicz presented a picture depicting the Henry Ford

Commerce Building, and, while laughing, stated, “Doesn’t this look like an old southern slave

plantation?”

12. During the week of December 26, 2017, Plaintiff reported the December 20,

2017, slave plantation comment to her supervisor, explaining how uncomfortable Defendant

Leonowicz’ comment made her feel.

13. Plaintiff’s supervisor failed to document Plaintiff’s complaint or conduct any

investigation regarding Plaintiff’s statement.

14. After Plaintiff made this complaint to her supervisor, Defendant Leonowicz began

to treat Plaintiff noticeably disparately.

15. On January 18, 2018, Plaintiff met with Defendant Leonowicz for her

performance evaluation and received a poor evaluation without any true or reasonable

explanation as to why.

16. Defendant Leonowicz stated that Plaintiff’s poor evaluation was due to her

“nonverbal body language” – despite the fact that Plaintiff worked in a call center sitting behind

a desk.

17. That same day, after receiving her evaluation, Plaintiff met with her supervisor

and reinforced her uncomfortable feelings.

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18. Plaintiff’s supervisor told Plaintiff that she had to work with Defendant

Leonowicz “no matter what” and failed to address any of Plaintiff’s concerns.

19. The next day, January 19, 2018, Plaintiff was called in to meet with her

supervisor and her supervisor’s manager and was told Plaintiff could either resign or be

terminated due to “lack of performance and attendance.”

COUNT I – VIOLATION OF MICHIGAN ELLIOT-LARSEN


CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
Retaliation

20. Plaintiff, by reference, incorporates the preceding paragraphs of her Complaint as

though fully set forth herein.

21. At all relevant times, Plaintiff was an “employee” and Defendant was an

“employer” within the meaning of Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (“ELCRA”), MCL

37.2101, et seq.

22. At all relevant times, under the ELCRA, Plaintiff had a right to employment free

from discrimination based on her race.

23. Plaintiff’s act of filing a complaint with her supervisor regarding Defendant

Leonowicz’ conduct was a protected activity under the ELCRA.

24. Defendants had knowledge that Plaintiff filed a complaint regarding Defendant

Leonowicz’ conduct.

25. Defendants terminated Plaintiff as a result of her filing said complaint, which was

an employment action adverse to Plaintiff.

26. Defendant Leonowicz’ actions were intentional, with reckless indifference to

Plaintiff’s rights and sensibilities.

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27. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff has suffered and

continues to suffer damages and injuries, including but not limited to:

a. Stress;

b. Humiliation;

c. Non-economic damages;

d. Economic damages;

e. Emotional damages;

f. All other injuries to be discovered throughout discovery;

g. Attorney fees and costs.

COUNT II – VIOLATION OF MICHIGAN ELLIOT-LARSEN


CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
Disparate Treatment

28. Plaintiff, by reference, incorporates the preceding paragraphs of her Complaint as

though fully set forth herein.

29. At all relevant times, Plaintiff was an “employee” and Defendant was an

“employer” within the meaning of Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (“ELCRA”), MCL

37.2101, et seq.

30. At all relevant times, under the ELCRA, Plaintiff had a right to employment free

from discrimination based on her race.

31. Defendant, through its agents, representatives, and employees, was predisposed to

discrimination on the basis of race and acted in accordance with that predisposition.

32. Defendant, through its agents, representatives, and employees, treated Plaintiff

differently from similarly situated Caucasian employees in the terms and conditions of

employment, on the unlawful basis of race.

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33. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s unlawful actions, Plaintiff has

suffered, and continues to suffer, injuries and damages.

COUNT III – VIOLATION OF MICHIGAN ELLIOTT-LARSEN


CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
Hostile Work Environment

34. Plaintiff, by reference, incorporates the preceding paragraphs of her Complaint as

though fully set forth herein.

35. At all relevant times, Plaintiff was an “employee” and Defendant was an

“employer” within the meaning of Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (“ELCRA”), MCL

37.2101, et seq.

36. Plaintiff was subjected to unwelcome verbal conduct and treatment due to her

race.

37. Plaintiff complained about the unwelcome verbal conduct, stating that it was

based on her racial status.

38. The Defendant violated Plaintiff’s rights under the ELCRA by allowing the

unwelcome conduct to affect a term or condition of employment, including unreasonably

interfering with Plaintiff’s work performance, and thus creating an intimidating and hostile work

environment.

39. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant’s unlawful actions, Plaintiff has

sustained and continues to sustain injuries and damages.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Jonathan R. Marko_____


Jonathan R. Marko (P72450)
Attorney for Plaintiff
MARKO LAW, PLC
645 Griswold Street, Suite 4100

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Detroit, Michigan 48226
Phone: (313) 965-5555
Fax: (313) 965-5556
jon@ernstmarkolaw.com

Dated: August 17, 2018

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that on August 17, 2018, I presented the foregoing paper to this
Court’s ECF System which will send notification of such filing to the above
listed attorneys of record.

/s/ Marissa A. Williams

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JURY REQUEST
Plaintiff, by and through counsel, hereby request a trial by jury in the above-captioned

matter.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Jonathan R. Marko_____


Jonathan R. Marko (P72450)
Attorney for Plaintiff
MARKO LAW, PLC
645 Griswold Street, Suite 4100
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Phone: (313) 965-5555
Fax: (313) 965-5556
jon@ernstmarkolaw.com

Dated:

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