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.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. Isn't It Obvious What's Going On? says:

    I always wondered why in almost every other restaurant, the majority of workers were Latino, but at Panda Express and, for that matter, every Asian restaurant, the workers were Asian.

  2. Guapi says:

    How can they sell Panda burgers when they are endangered?

  3. Luigi says:

    What does Panda taste like….chicken?

  4. tn says:

    Panda Express’ Cross-cultural training and exchange diversity program (and the Asians were probably waiting to use the toilets…)

  5. tn says:

    Could it be that the Latinos happened to be hired as maintenance workers while the Asians were hired as food servers? I wouldn’t want my food served by a maintenance worker, nor the cook and cashier cleaning toilets. Just saying.

  6. 2011 says:

    My Vietnamese co-worker once took me to an Asian restaurant and told me (a Latino), “NEVER work for Asian people.They no treat you guys good.”

  7. psa says:

    Asians have always endured racial slurs and taunts by other groups and minorities. No one in the mainstream media makes a big issue about that.

  8. jose says:

    its truth i work on one on bakersfield and you can tell the our boss do the same thing specialy if you are ilegal. we dont event get our ten minute break, they will telll you all the rule buth in english and will not tranlate what they it truh said.