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Workers sue Gino's Burgers & Chicken for unpaid wages and racial discrimination

November 21, 2016: When Geidi Oroman Ramos asked her boss at Gino’s Burgers & Chicken to pay her for the long hours she had worked over the course of several weeks, Ms. Oroman Ramos says he replied that Latino workers are “bastards” and “take our jobs.” And he withheld every cent of the wages she’d earned. Upon discovering that they had all been subject to similar mistreatment. Ms. Oroman Ramos and three other former Gino’s employees decided to take action, filing a lawsuit against Gino’s on November 21 for unpaid wages and racial discrimination.

Represented by the Public Justice Center and Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP, the four workers allege that Gino’s and its owners and managers targeted Latino workers for wage theft, and subjected them to a racially hostile work environment. The workers contend that Gino’s required Latino employees to work long hours and then failed to pay them for all hours worked, subjected them to unlawful deductions from their paychecks, and denied them overtime wages. Some workers did not receive any compensation at all for weeks.

As alleged in the Complaint, Gino’s owners and managers harassed and intimidated Latino workers who attempted to assert their right to receive wages earned, creating an abusive work environment where Latino employees were afraid to speak up. The workers were routinely told that, because of their race, they were stupid, worthless, and only good for cooking and cleaning. When one of the workers, Iris Pineda Leiva, complained about the abusive language, her boss threw a box at her.

Ms. Oroman Ramos and her three colleagues hope that their lawsuit will put an end to the abusive practices and result in recovery of unpaid wages and damages for themselves as well as similarly-situated workers.

The Public Justice Center’s Monisha Cherayil and Sally Dworak-Fisher are working with Louis Ebert and Jamar Brown at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP on this case through our Litigation Partnership. As Lou says, “Representing individuals whose rights have been taken from them in such an egregious manner and assisting an organization committed to defending those rights is the right thing to do.” Thank you!

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