A former worker of Fresno-based Mexican restaurant group Bobby Salazar’s was a victim of auto fireplace-bombings shortly after she submitted a wrongful termination and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
A Fresno lawyer suggests situations of the alleged attacks are happening with greater frequency and are probably tied to litigation with the restaurant’s operator.
Cafe worker Hilda Lopez of Fresno sued Robert “Bobby” Salazar – the proprietor of the eponymous cafe – on June 17 alleging that he harassed and discriminated versus her simply because of her being pregnant.
3 cars belonging to Lopez’s relatives have been firebombed in the early morning of June 23, a lot less than a working day after Salazar was served with the lawsuit.
“Within 12 several hours of the lawsuit staying served they have been all blown up in front of their household in the middle of the evening,” Lopez’s lawyer Brian Whelan explained.
Whelan mentioned law enforcement, like the Fresno Police Section and the FBI, is investigating the incident.
Management denied break requests
Lopez was employed as a prepare dinner for Bobby Salazar’s Taqueria, located in the Tower District, in July 2019.
For every the lawsuit, Lopez claimed her requests for breaks and lunch had been “met with disapproving responses” by administration.
“[Lopez] was advised that she really should not complain about not having breaks simply because she could just take in whilst she worked and that and that was the trade off for no breaks,” the lawsuit reads.
That scenario received even worse when she found out she was pregnant all through the summertime of last year.
Lopez claims that when her pregnancy was “obvious and displaying,” Salazar received in her face and aggressively demanded that she do the job faster and stop “whining about taking breaks.”
“Bobby Salazar elevated his voice at [Lopez] and aggressively pointed his finger in [Lopez’s] deal with demanding that she do the job more rapidly,” the lawsuit reads.
Lopez said she acquired the information and stopped inquiring for breaks due to the fact she required the career. She claimed her get the job done did not sluggish down simply because of the being pregnant.
Adhering to the incident with Salazar, Lopez’s plan was improved to demand her to work on times that she already experienced family members commitments. She said management was cooperative with her scheduling requests prior to the pregnancy.
Lopez sent the subsequent text concept to Salazar on Oct. 3, 2020: “I informed you that I simply cannot operate Sundays. I think your [sic] discriminating in opposition to me due to the fact I’m pregnant but I can do my get the job done superior than some individuals there.”
Issues worsened for Lopez at the time again, according to the lawsuit.
“Not only were being breaks denied, but as a punishment [Lopez] was also sent upcoming doorway to Lucy’s, a different cafe owned and managed by [Salazar], to thoroughly clean the bogs,” the lawsuit reads.
“Until generating it recognized that she was upset about being discriminated towards on account of pregnancy, [Lopez] had not been sent to clean bathrooms at a unique restaurant. The new rest room responsibility at a different cafe was pushed on [Lopez] as castigation for complaining about staying dealt with poorly (which was in composing) on account of being pregnant.”
With her thanks day established for November, Lopez worked up till Nov. 7, and she statements she was denied the opportunity to return to function just after she gave delivery.
Lopez is searching for $350,000 in damages to compensate for earlier and long run lost wages and advantages, emotional distress and other accidents.
Not the to start with firebombing
Very last week’s firebombing incident was not the to start with that associated a former employee of Salazar.
On May well 20, 2020, yet another former worker (who asked for anonymity) had her motor vehicle firebombed right after she discovered a shell out-for-testimony plan involving Salazar and one more wrongful termination lawsuit that Whelan was operating on.
On Aug. 17, 2020, an assailant attempted to firebomb Whelan’s workplaces.
“Someone threw a Molotov cocktail at my office environment,” Whelan explained.
Doe submitted a declaration in the wrongful termination lawsuit that concerned previous Bobby Salazar’s staff Rodrigo Tovar. Doe frequented Bobby Salazar’s Taqueria for a pair several years just before receiving employed in February 2020 subsequent Tovar’s dismissal.
She labored for about a month right up until she – together with a lot of the staff – was furloughed thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her declaration, Doe reported Salazar approached her giving $500 to give untrue testimony versus Tovar in his wrongful termination lawsuit. She claimed Salazar wanted her to testify that Tovar tried out to provide her medicine.
“Though I by no means labored with Rodrigo, I experienced been a frequent at Bobby Salazar’s ahead of I started my employment at Bobby Salazar’s. At no place in time did Rodrigo ever market medicine to me nor to everyone else to my know-how,” Doe wrote.
“In my encounter with Rodrigo, it was and would have been out of character and out of spot for Rodrigo and I did not consider Bobby’s promises were accurate. In my encounter, Rodrigo is and has often been an upright, loyal and straightforward person. When Bobby was inquiring me to lie below oath about Rodrigo, Bobby had a wad of money in his hand.”
Salazar, talking to McClatchy, denied the fiery accusations on Monday
“There is no way I would do that,” he said. “I never even know folks who would do that.”
“There is no way I would do that,” he explained Monday. “I really don’t even know men and women who would do that.”
Salazar is no stranger to the prison justice technique. In 1997, he was convicted, by way of a no contest plea, of fraudulently filing an insurance plan assert right after conspiring with an associate to have his motor vehicle stolen from Selland Arena.
Salazar’s affiliate operated a meant “chop shop” that contains added stolen automobiles.
Fundraising marketing campaign recognized for Lopez, relatives
With the Lopez relatives out of a few cars just after their destruction, Whelan has set up a GoFundMe campaign to enable the family members acquire new cars.
The family’s cars and trucks had basic collision insurance policy, but the designs did not go over firebombing.
“They don’t have automobiles now as the end result of all this and are in need of assistance,” Whelan reported. “I’m striving to request the local community to assist them out for the reason that they never have the means to obtain new cars suitable now. They don’t have coverage which is there to go over the loss, so it is kind of a nightmare of a condition for them.”
The GoFundMe had raised in excess of $2,900 as of Monday afternoon. Whelan established a aim of elevating $75,000 for the household.