Hispanic employee sues for not being allowed to speak Spanish while at work

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 29, 2010, 3:43am

A Hispanic mechanic has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against his employers after he claims he was told not to speak Spanish in the workplace.

Claiming violations of his civil rights, Fernando Barajas filed suit against Atlanta CSO Constructors and Obayashi Corp. on Sept. 13 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Barajas states he was hired by the defendants in May 2004 as a mechanic and was subjected to verbal harassment and intimidation until he resigned in November 2007.

He claims that during a safety meeting, his supervisor used profane language referring to Hispanic employees and several days later the supervisor prohibited Hispanic employees from speaking Spanish in the workplace.

According to Barajas' allegations, the supervisor stated he was not going to allow Hispanic employees to speak Spanish in the workplace because he was not going to work with "garbage" during his shift.

Acting as his own attorney, Barajas asks the court to order the defendants to reinstate him and that they be directed to settlement.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:10-cv-00565

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