Laureano Arregon filed a complaint on Friday in the California Superior Court for Stanislaus County alleging that he was discriminated against and harassed because of an injury he received while working milking cows for Foster Dairy Farms and its facility in Hickman, California. The plaintiff alleged that he was fired because of his physical disability from the injury and his requests for accommodations.
Arregon reportedly worked as a “dedicated dairy worker and cow milker.” In the complaint, he alleged that he “repeatedly” reported workplace hazards like slippery mats but the defendants did not take steps to remedy the situation. One time, after reporting the slippery mats, he was asked to clean them but the plaintiff said this did not fix the hazardous situation. Arregon claimed that he eventually slipped causing harm to himself including a back injury and filed a worker’s compensation claim.
“As a result of Plaintiff’s injuries and good-faith whistleblowing regarding workplace safety hazards, Defendants, and each of them, retaliated against Plaintiff by refusing to reasonably accommodate him, as required by law, and forcing him to take an unpaid leave of absence,” the complaint reported. The plaintiff further claimed that the defendants caused intentional emotional distress, and, after learning of the worker’s compensation claim, ended his employment unlawfully.
According to the complaint, four days before he was fired one of the individual defendants called him insisting that he return to work despite the doctor’s orders, after returning to work because he was afraid of further retaliation he was “lured into a private office, presented with his final paycheck, and informed that he was discharged.”
The complaint was filed against Foster Dairy Farms, three named supervisors, and other individuals who are currently not damned who assisted the other defendants. Arregon asked the court for damages, including economic, non-economic, punitive, and exemplary damages with interest, and civil penalties against the defendants.