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.
Register lawyers have not yet filed a response.
Superior Court Judge John Gastelum will preside over the case.