A transgender male is suing Chipotle Services LLC, alleging he was discriminated and harassed in the workplace and ultimately fired from the restaurant chain’s downtown Los Angeles location because of his gender identification.
Cynthia “Cindy” Hernandez’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit also alleges retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and various state Labor Code violations. He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
A Chipotle representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit filed Tuesday.
Hernandez was hired in March 2019 as a crew member at the Chipotle restaurant on Seventh Street and his duties included food preparation, a job which he performed competently, according to the suit.
Hernandez told his manager, a co-defendant in the suit identified only as Caleb Doe, that he wanted to be called “Cindy” instead of “Cynthia,” the suit states. Despite his request, multiple managers called him “Cynthia,” “ma’am” and “lady,” the suit alleges.
Hernandez complained about the other managers’ conduct to Caleb Doe, who responded, “What do you want me to do about it?,” the suit states.
The alleged harassing and discriminating conduct by the other managers increased after Hernandez complained and his hours were shortened, the suit states. He protested to Caleb Doe that he also didn’t receive the same regular pay increases given his co-workers, to which the manager replied, “We’re working on it,” according to the complaint.
Although Hernandez continued to complain to Caleb Doe about the alleged disparate workplace treatment he experienced, the manager disregarded his concerns and said, “That’s just you,” the suit states.
Hernandez was reprimanded in June 2021 for not calling in on a day he went to a doctor’s appointment even though he received prior approval from Caleb Doe, the suit states. About a week later, Caleb Doe told Hernandez he was being fired because he did not show up for work, the suit states.
Hernandez has lost income and suffered severe emotional distress, the suit states.