A Galveston County woman has filed a lawsuit against the pizza chain that formerly employed her, alleging the eatery terminated her because she complained of sexual harassment by a superior.
Court papers filed against Lavaston Foods LLC, doing business as Papa John’s Pizza, on July 24 in the Galveston County 56th District Court claim Alize Shannon was the target of unwanted advances as a minor from general manager Carlos Velez when she worked at the defendant’s store in Texas City.
Shannon explains that the purported harassment began last year when Velez gave her a ride from the business. According to the complainant, Velez, who is not a defendant, made lewd remarks and “eventually asked for sex from her.”
Velez reportedly continued soliciting Shannon for sex until the latter reported the former’s conduct. Velez soon was promoted to general manager and used his position to further his harassment of the plaintiff, the suit says.
It further shows that in late October last year, Velez fired Shannon on the spot for getting food from a nearby Popeye’s though employees lacked breaks during their shifts and had to eat while on the clock. The complainant asserts Velez angrily dismissed her to pay her back for rebuffing his advances.
“The plaintiff was subjected to unwelcomed sexual harassment, the harassment was on account of her sex, the sexual harassment was severe and pervasive, and it adversely affected the terms and conditions of her employment,” the original petition says.
Consequently, Shannon seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
She is represented by attorney Peter Costea of Houston.
Galveston County 56th District Court Case No. 15-CV-773