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Workers claims retaliation for reporting unsanitary conditions

Two Florida restaurants, Versailles and Bird Road La Carreta , as well as their owners individually are facing a lawsuit from a former employee. According to the complaint, the plaintiff noticed unsanitary and safety conditions as well as unspecified illegal conduct and reported it to his supervisors. However, he claims that his concerns only led to retaliation. He alleges that the Cuban restaurants maintained kitchen and food preparation areas that were dirty and that foreign substances were found in the food.

The plaintiff took photos of what he discovered at Versailles and brought it to the attention of his superiors, but he claims that nothing changed to remedy the conditions. An investigation allegedly conducted by health department officials confirmed what the man reported and also found 52 safety violations of its own. The employee was later transferred to La Carretta where he purportedly continued to face hostility from management.

According to the complaint, anyone who opposed what upper management wanted was fired, and the plaintiff described circumstances involving two other employees who lost their jobs for complaining. At La Carretta, the plaintiff says he noticed the same unsanitary situations that existed at Versailles and once again complained and took pictures. After his complaints, he alleges that he faced retaliation and was even offered $400 in cash that he believed was a bribe to keep quiet.

Ultimately, the Florida man asserts that he could no longer tolerate the hostile work environment and quit. He alleges that the defendants acted in retaliation to his complaints by causing adverse working conditions to make him leave on his own. A spokesperson for the restaurants contends that there have never been any health or safety concerns and that plaintiff's claims are baseless. Additionally, it is claimed that the plaintiff was promoted when he was moved to La Carretta and that he resigned because he had found employment elsewhere. The result of this lawsuit is still to be determined, and the man will now have the opportunity to prove his allegations in court.

Source: local10.com, "Former assistant manager sues Versailles, La Carreta over mistreatment", Amanda Batchelor, Jan. 14, 2016

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