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Behind the Kitchen Doors at PF Chang’s

September 22, 2014 Legal Team

Two female kitchen workers have prevailed on sexual harassment lawsuits against the high scale, Asian dining bistro. Because of PF Chang’s poor treatment of these allegations, they are now on the book for a combined $931, 200.

The story begins with Plaintiff Liliana Avila at the La Jolla location, who, at the time, was 20 years of age. Her supervisor, Angel Mendoza, was about twice her age. Almost immediately Mendoza began to sexual harass Avila. Initially, Mendoza and the staff made sexually explicit jokes, watched pornography on their smartphones, and spoke in pedophilic terms about a co-worker’s minor daughter. Eventually, Mendoza physically forced himself on Avila, attempting to make her kiss him. On that same day, Mendoza stuck his finger in vanilla sauce and shoved his finger inside Avila’s mouth. At other locations, the vanilla sauce was squirted into female workers’ faces. The harasser would then comment, “look you have [expletive] in your face.”

Avila reported Mendoza who was transferred to the Carlsbad location. His pervasive behavior continued there with a different female kitchen worker named Linda Andrade. Mendoza repeatedly asked Andrade out, to which she always refused. On multiple occasions, he approached her from behind, rubbed her shoulders, and moved his hands down her back towards her buttocks.

Mendoza tried to corner Andrade and kiss her, but she rebuffed hi. At that point, he turned hostile, yelling at her that she was a “whore.” Mendoza, as Andrade’s supervisor, sent her home for wearing nail polish.

At arbitration, Avila and Andrade were awarded $456,000 and $474,000 respectively. It took nearly two years, but the time yielded a positive response for the plaintiffs.

Source: Daily Journal