SAN FRANCISCO—A lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, August 1, against the Alamo Drafthouse for harassment of three former employees who were employed with the company from 2018 to 2022, discrimination and other unsafe working conditions.
The suit that was filed in San Francisco Superior Court, accuses one defendant identified in the suit as “NOE” who was the company’s manager at the time, of groping one of the plaintiffs when he asked her to go to the walk-in freezer to get pizza supplies.
The plaintiff Keyla, who was 18 at the time, was followed by Noe into the freezer where he allegedly pushed her against the wall, grouped her buttocks, and pulled her down in an effort to kiss her. The victim pushed him away and asked that he respect her. She later reported the incident to Noe’s brother KM who did nothing as a response to the allegations.
After rejecting his advances the plaintiff worked under Noe who continued to put her down according to the suit. By May of 2022, Noe threatened to fire her because she asked to move back to the pizza line because she was getting injured and burned so frequently on the grill.
Keyla told her mother, Iciela, about the assault which prompted her to make a complaint. As a result of complaining on her daughter’s behalf, they were allegedly retaliated against in a consistent manner. Their schedules were changed to be less accommodating and were assigned more work than was proper or safe. Both plaintiffs believe it was a deliberate attempt to induce them to quit.
The mother and daughter began to recognize that the defendants were mostly hiring younger Spanish speaking women from regions of Central and Latin America as their kitchen staff. Two of these new staff members came forward because they were also assaulted by Noe. In some cases the victims were only minors according to the lawsuit.
All defendants including a male cook, were further discriminated against by each Plaintiff by failing to promulgate rules and regulations in Spanish while knowing that the Plaintiffs were not fluent in English.
“It was functionally impossible for Plaintiffs to make complaints further up the hierarchy than [defendants], because more senior administrators did not speak Spanish and provided no mechanism for Spanish-speaking kitchen workers to raise issues with management,” the suit reads.
The plaintiffs in this case are seeking a trial by jury and an unspecified amount of damages.