This week, a fired veteran Orange County Register production employee sued the newspaper for allegedly tolerating numerous discriminatory practices by a manager who supposedly used violence and uttered workplace statements like, "You dirty Mexicans want a union because you are lazy."
Jerry Asencio, a Stanton resident, says he began as a Register pressman in 1981 and, according to his complaint--filed October 5 in Orange County Superior Court--"enjoyed his job for many years" before he "suffered repeated discrimination and harassment by a manager."
The lawsuit that names the Register's parent company--Freedom Communications, Inc.--as a defendant, asserts that the manager "made repeated comments" about the plaintiff's race, age, color, ancestry and national origin.
Asencio claims those statements included:
--"All Mexicans are lazy animals."
--"What are you Mexicans going to do, stab me in the back? You Mexicans are all the same."
--"If you're white, you're damn right! If you're black, you aren't coming back! And if you're brown, you'll hang around like my big balls!"
The former pressman, who says he was fired on a false vandalism accusation earlier this year, also alleges he witnessed his boss strike a fellow employee in the face, observed Register management ignore discrimination complaints, and experienced a sly systematic method instituted to force older workers, such as himself, out for pension-saving reasons: reassign them to physically intensive tasks.
Asencio is demanding a jury trial and unspecified damages.
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Register lawyers have not yet filed a response.
Superior Court Judge John Gastelum will preside over the case.