A former human resources director for a Commerce company has dropped his lawsuit against his ex-employer, in which he alleged he was wrongfully fired in August because of his age and race as well as in retaliation for his repeated warnings to management of his employment safety, wage and hour and sexual harassment concerns.
On Wednesday, lawyers for plaintiff Paul Espinosa filed a request for dismissal of the case against Monogram Aerospace Fasteners Inc. with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maurice A. Leiter “with prejudice,” meaning the case cannot be refiled. The court papers do not state whether a settlement was reached or if Espinosa is not pursuing the case for other reasons.
Espinosa’s suit was filed Oct. 13, alleging wrongful termination, retaliation, age and race discrimination, harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, supervision or retention, failure to prevent discriminatory practices and unfair business practices.
The suit does not state Espinosa’s age or race.
Monogram “serves the world’s markets with industry leading products including specialty fasteners, temporary fasteners for fixturing and alignment, fastener installation tools, finishing and removal tools and the design of innovative fastening solutions for the aerospace industry,” according to its website.
Espinosa was hired as the Garfield Avenue company’s human resources director on March 21. He was assigned to plan and coordinate the policies, activities and staff of his department, and his annual salary was $145,000 with a 30% bonus, the suit stated.
Espinosa determined the company allegedly failed to pay non-exempt employees’ meal and rest break violation premiums and violated other wage and hour laws, but nothing was done when he informed his supervisors, the suit alleged.
Shortly after his hiring, Espinosa opened an investigation that determined many employees’ cars had been broken into and/or their windshields smashed during the prior two weeks, and that a woman had been abducted from the same lot several years earlier, an action witnessed by the company’s receptionist, he suit stated.
Espinosa reported what he learned and suggested that security guards be hired to oversee the parking lot at night, the suit states. However, his concerns were “brushed aside” and management refused to provide any security, according to the suit.
“Plaintiff was told that it was not in the budget,” according to the suit, which further stated that Espinosa’s follow-up pleas for action were also fruitless.
Espinosa had also suggested a training course in case of an armed intruder and he provided photographs of company windows that were shot out twice within one month, the suit stated.
In June, Espinosa received a sexual harassment complaint concerning a white, male employee and he once again reported the issue to management and the potential liability for the company, the suit stated. He initially received support for coming forward, but later his concerns were downplayed and it was suggested the alleged offender was “socially awkward,” the suit alleged.
Espinosa also uncovered evidence of a hostile work environment when interviewing an employee leaving the company in July, according to the suit.
A month later, Espinosa was suspended and subsequently received a letter in the mail on Aug. 12 stating he was fired, according to the suit, which further stated that he continues to suffer substantial emotional distress because of his firing.