Female employee accuses bakery of sexual harassment

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Dec 22, 2017

SACRAMENTO — A Tulare County woman is suing a manufacturer of baked goods, alleging sexual harassment.

Lorena Velasquez filed a complaint Dec. 19 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Svenhards's Swedish Bakery, Israel Sanchez and Marcelino Chaires, alleging violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

According to the complaint, on Jan. 11, 2016, Velasquez started work at Svenhard, working night shifts at the singles line at the company’s main production facility in Exeter, California. Velasquez says during her employment she was subjected to inappropriate comments and verbal abuse. 

Despite reporting the alleged harassment, the suit says, management took no action and re-assigned her to work the make-up line. As a result, Velasquez says she suffered significant emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life and irreparable harm to her reputation. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action regarding the sexual conduct and failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring, in violation of the FEHA.

Velasquez seeks trial by jury, compensatory, punitive and nominal damages, court costs, attorney fees, interest, and all other necessary and appropriate relief. She is represented by attorneys Eric Baum and Philip M. Black of Eisenberg & Baum, LLP in New York.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California case number 1:17-cv-01710-DAD-SAB

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