Race And Ethnicity Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Corbion in Totowa, New Jersey And Its Human Resources Manager.
We filed a Race and Ethnicity Discrimination lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County, against Corbion d/b/a Caravan Ingredients Inc., located at 100 Adams Drive, Totowa, New Jersey and its human resource manager, Stephanie Wypasek in connection with the termination of a Hispanic Employee.
The lawsuit alleges as follows, among other allegations:
- Plaintiff is Hispanic, married with four children, was employed by Corbion as a pre-scale operator earning approximately $65,000 annually.
- Plaintiff was subsequently fired by Wypasek, who is Caucasian.
- Wypasek fired the plaintiff claiming that an employee reported that plaintiff referred to another employee as Lambon, which, according to Wypasek is derogatory term in Spanish meaning ‘ass kissing.
- However, plaintiff alleged that Wypasek knew and was very aware that non-Hispanic employees, as well as supervisors, repeatedly uttered comparatively offensive terms yet Wypasek failed to even investigate such other non-Hispanic employee.
- Plaintiff alleges that within their working environment (warehouse), joking around, name calling, the use of profanities, and ordinary workplace banter are very common among and between workers as well as their supervisors.
- Plaintiff alleges that Wypasek turned a blind eye to other wrongdoings or inappropriate statements/comments made by non-Hispanic employees, while relying on the same alleged wrongdoing to terminate Hispanic employees, including the plaintiff.
- Wypasek further alleged that plaintiff violated the company’s policy by “threatening… intimidating … fellow employees…” However, the plaintiff alleges that Wypasek interprets innocuous statements and conduct of minority employees as “dangerous” or “threatening,” but interprets substantially similar statements and conduct of white employees as “harmless,” including statements of a white employee threatening to shoot his co-workers, which Wypasek did not even investigate or issued any disciplinary notice.
- Plaintiff also alleged that Wypasek claimed that she viewed video recordings and noticed that plaintiff starting work an average of 20 minutes late, which, according to her, is a violation of Corbion’s policy against “wasting company’s time.”
- However, Plaintiff alleged that non-Hispanic co-workers and supervisors frequently start their shift late without any discipline, including, but not limited to, termination.
Plaintiff’s lawsuit alleges Race and Ethnicity Discrimination in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), Retaliation in violation of the LAD, and Aiding and Abetting discrimination and retaliation in violation of the LAD.
Generally, unless there is an employment agreement between the employer and employee, an employer is free to hire or fire anyone at will, with or without reason. However, under the LAD, an employer cannot discriminate against any employee in the terms and conditions of that employee’s employment including hiring, promotion, discipline, salary, etc.