LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A Latino man who worked as a cook for a Yoshinoya restaurant in the Crenshaw District is suing his former employer, alleging he was forced to quit in 2017 because of a racist supervisor who told him he “really wanted Donald Trump to win because he will throw you out of the country.”
The allegations in Jose Lopez’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against the Japanese fast-food chain include discrimination, harassment, failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention.
The complaint filed Dec. 29, also names as a defendant Lopez’s former boss, Teresa Bersonda, whose ethnicity is not identified in the complaint. Lopez seeks unspecified damages.
A Yoshinoya representative could not be immediately reached.
Lopez, born in El Salvador, was hired in August 2014 and was constantly chided for his accent and dialect by Bersonda, the suit alleges.
“You are a stupid ass because you don’t know English,” Bersonda allegedly told Lopez.
Bersonda freely expressed her political views, often yelling out, “Build that wall,” and she told Lopez, “I really wanted Donald Trump to win because he will throw you out of the country,” according to the lawsuit.
Bersonda also said “Latino immigrants should all go back to their country,” the suit states.
Lopez complained to upper management about Bersonda’s alleged misconduct and his schedule was briefly changed in response, according to the complaint, but his hours were returned later to their former times and he was again subjected to her alleged taunting.
“He was told by company management that he needed to deal with it or leave,” the suit alleges.
After Lopez hired a lawyer to help him deal with his issues with the company and Bersonda, a Yoshinoya manager met with Lopez and “threatened him with Homeland Security if he didn’t dismiss his claims against his store and harasser Bersonda,” according to the lawsuit.
Lopez was forced to quit in February, the suit states.