Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Faces Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit - Shegerian Law

NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Juan Carlos Bravo, a former employee at Huy Fong Foods, Inc. with a disability, filed a lawsuit against the company alleging wrongful termination, retaliation and harassment. Bravo is represented by Carney Shegerian, the founder of Los Angeles-based employee rights law firm Shegerian & Associates.

Bravo was employed as a Mixer at Huy Fong, the manufacturer of Sriracha, for approximately four years, beginning September 2013.

In January 2016, Bravo’s supervisor Duenas transferred his co-worker from the mixing room, leaving him alone there, a violation of company policy. Despite complaining multiple times, no actions were taken.

In July 2016, Duenas transferred him to the chili processing department and Sergio Garcia became his new supervisor. The department then cut its staff from four to two, so that Bravo worked with one other employee, Ramon Padilla. Due to lack of staffing and increased workload, the two were unable to take meal and rest breaks on time. They complained several times to Garcia, and each time he did not respond.

Bravo later learned that Garcia allegedly called him “stupid,” “slow,” and “lazy” behind his back from colleagues Philippe Martinez and Antonio Servantes. The two shared that Garcia often embarrassed them before co-workers, calling them stupid, slow and lazy as well.

Bravo felt depressed and targeted as Garcia demeaned him while at work. Garcia was friendly with younger employees, but continuously degraded those in their forties and older. In mid-July, Martinez and Servantes informed Bravo that Garcia said “[he] was getting tired of [Mr. Bravo].”

On May 30, 2017, Bravo was diagnosed with a stomach infection while on vacation. He immediately called Soshi, an HR representative, to inform her that he was sick and his doctor excused him for work for two days. Bravo gave Soshi the paperwork as soon as he returned. His doctor then extended his leave to June 5, 2017. When Bravo returned that day, he was told his employment was terminated for allegedly improperly cleaning the conveyor on or around May 16, 2017.

According to Shegerian, “The alleged age discrimination and retaliation that Bravo faced while at Huy Fong is deeply unsettling. No employees should have to face that.”

About Shegerian & Associates:
Shegerian & Associates has won clients over $300 million in employment-based disputes and maintains a 98% success rate. We have offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and New York.