WOODLAND, Calif. (CN) - Target's offensive "multi-cultural tips" for managers inform bosses that not all Hispanic employees eat tacos, dance to salsa or wear sombreros, former employees say in Superior Court.
Robert Gonzalez, Bulmaro Fabian and Pedro Garcia-Ayala sued Target Corp. in Yolo County Court.
They claim they suffered crude harassment, discrimination and retaliation at work, and that Target's tips for managers are offensive in themselves.
"Target provided its distribution warehouse managers a document titled, 'Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips,'" the complaint states. "This document instructs managers to note differences among Hispanic employees, and states the following:
"a. Food: not everyone eats tacos and burritos;
"b. Music: not everyone dances to salsa;
"c. Dress: not everyone wears a sombrero;
"d. Mexicans (lower education level, some may be undocumented);
"e. Cubans (Political refugees, legal status, higher education level); and
"f. They may say 'OK, OK' and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face."
The plaintiffs claim that nearly all the management positions were held by Caucasians, who regularly used racial slurs while addressing Hispanic employees, such as "Only a 'wetback' can work this hard," "You got to be Mexican to work like this," and "What the hell, I'm already sweating like a Mexican," the employees say in the complaint.
Gonzalez claims that he complained to human resources, and his supervisors retaliated for it.
He claims his manager, Terry McCafee, "began using more racial epithets when instructing Gonzalez on his work and would purposefully throw boxes on the ground and then order Gonzalez to pick them up in an attempt to humiliate Gonzalez amongst his colleagues."
McCafee is not a defendant. The only defendant is the corporation and Does 1-100.
All three employees say they were fired with racial animus; Gonzalez and Faiban, both 58, state that their age was also a factor.
They seek punitive damages for harassment, failure to prevent harassment, age and race discrimination and retaliation.
They are represented by Simerdip Khangura with the Law Offices of Ilija Cvetich in Sacramento.