Cook Says Chili's Tolerated Sexual Attack
ROSEVILLE, Calif. (CN) - Bosses at Chili's laughed off the sexual battery of a short-order cook, telling him, "You are gay; you like it," the man claims in court.
Angel Cifuentes sued Brinker Restaurant Corp. dba Chili's Bar and Grill, three former co-workers and four supervisors, in Placer County Court.
Cifuentes "is a male Guatemalan and straight," he says in his complaint. "The majority of the remainder of the kitchen staff was Mexican or of Mexican ethnic origin."
Cifuentes says he "was subjected to wrongful physical touching, racial comments, taunted, threatened with rope and assaulted throughout his employment on many occasions," the complaint states.
In one instance, three or more co-workers "physically and sexually assaulted him" in a bathroom, and when he reported it to a supervisor she "laughed at him and told him to go back to work," Cifuentes says in the complaint.
"In another incident, [defendant Joel Farfan] Rivera, a co-employee, squeezed plaintiff's butt and hugged him. Plaintiff reported this to Alisa, his manager, who said, 'You are gay; you like it,' and just tell him to stop. No other action was taken," the complaint states.
It continues: "[Defendant LNUs] Frank, Karen and Alisa also told employees to call him a border-jumping cockroach (Guatemalan), and they and other employees did so." (Parentheses in complaint).
On Aug. 27, 2011, "[defendants] Fidel Baltazar, Joe Rivera and Rodrigo Torres grabbed plaintiff from behind, hit his ear (which had an infection), forcibly dry-humped him, pulled off his pants and underwear, and said they were going to rape him, held him in a doggy-style position, and held plaintiff's face against Baltazar's crotch. Rivera digitally penetrated plaintiff's anus. Some details were recorded on a cell phone by a co-employee. Rivera said he would kill plaintiff and his mother and family and put him in the Dumpster if he told police. ... All three co-employees threatened, harassed, assaulted, and sexually assaulted plaintiff. They stated they would sodomize him and make him fellate them. Plaintiff reported this incident to the police and his supervisor. The police report is attached as Exhibit B. A criminal prosecution was brought."
However, Cifuentes says, Chili's took "no adequate corrective actions," and he was "forced to leave work,"
A spokesperson for Brinker Restaurant said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.
Cifuentes is represented by Douglas E. Jaffe of Sacramento and Stephen Danz of Los Angeles.
He seeks lost wages and benefits, and compensatory and punitive damages for sexual harassment, failure to train, failure to prevent harassment and discrimination, retaliation, negligent supervision and retention, intentional infliction of emotional distress, constructive discharge, race/national origin discrimination and harassment, sexual orientation discrimination, sexual battery, and violations of the California Constitution and the right to privacy.
Named as defendants are his former co-workers Joel Farfan Rivera, Rodrigo Torres and Fidel Baltazar, Chili's general manager Silas Robertshaw, and supervisors Alisa, Frank and Karen (last names unknown).