PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against West Reading-based Service Caster Corp. alleging the company subjected Puerto Rican Pentecostal employees to retaliation and discrimination because of their race and religion.
According to the Sept. 30 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the EEOC filed the civil action against the defendant Service Caster Corp. citing the Civil Rights Act.
"Defendant violated Title VII when it discriminated against charging parties Vicente Sepulveda, Hiram Santana and Fredymar Perez by subjecting them to a hostile work environment and disparate treatment because of their national origin and religion, and unlawfully retaliated against them," the EEOC stated in its suit.
In the compliant, the EEOC claims the employees were subjected to a supervisor's "offensive and unwelcome derogatory remarks about persons of Puerto Rican national origin." The Service Caster supervisor allegedly referred to the Puerto Rican employees as "filthy, drug-addicted, welfare recipients" who are "lazy" and "devalue" the community where they reside. According to the suit, the supervisor also told the employees that Puerto Ricans "deserved to experience devastating effects of hurricanes" and that Puerto Rican males "come from and create dysfunctional families."
The EEOC also alleges the supervisor told the employees that their Pentecostalism "is a disgusting cult," according to the complaint.
After complaining about the supervisor's remarks, the EEOC claims the employees faced threats, harassment, denial of overtime, reduced work hours, pay reduction and attempts to coerce them to sign documents they did not understand as well as termination from their assignments.
The EEOC seeks an injunction against Service Caster, back pay for the charging parties and compensation for past and future losses.
EEOC attorneys representing the charging parties are Sharon Fast Gustafson, Gwendolyn Reams, Debra Lawrence, Kate Northrup and Melanie Peterson.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 5:19-cv-04525