SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Federal officials have sued against a Panda Express restaurant in West San Jose, alleging management made Latino workers perform menial work such as cleaning toilets while allowing Asian workers to look on and enjoy an easier workload.
The lawsuit filed be the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also alleges Latino employees at the Panda Express at Campbell and Saratoga avenues were given fewer hours, treated more harshly and disciplined more frequently than Asian workers.
In a statement announcing the suit, the EEOC said “Hispanic workers who worked as counter help were required to clean the bathroom, tables and counters, while Asian employees were permitted to simply stand around and watch,” the federal agency’s Bay Area office said in a statement announcing the suit.
The lawsuit accuses the restaurant of violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination based on ethnicity. It demands that Panda Express pay monetary damages and institute training in workplace discrimination.
A Panda Express spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
The San Jose Mercury News reported the same Panda location was sued in September by an employee who was fired after complaining about a co-worker’s “inappropriate sexual behavior.” The company reached a settlement, agreeing to pay the worker $25,000 and rehire her, but, but it did not admit any wrongdoing.
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