TAMPA, Fla. – On February 18th, a Hispanic female customer service employee filed a legal complaint against one of the area’s most renowned furniture retailers, Kane’s Furniture.
Cristina Salas, a Hispanic Venezuelan was employed as a bi-lingual from January 2017 to February 2018 to assist Spanish-speaking customers. She accuses her supervisor, Laicy Lindamore of discriminating against her whenever she spoke English.
According to the lawsuit, Lindamore would laugh and ask Salas to repeat words that were pronounced incorrectly. It states Lindamore encouraged a fellow employee to join in laughing. When Lindamore would hear Salas speaking to a Spanish customer, she would signal to hang up the call.
If Salas needed help to execute her job duties, Lindamore allegedly would not assist. Lindamore offered a list of English courses that Salas could take – as her English-speaking skills were considered insufficient – and allegedly stated, “You should be embarrassed that your daughter speaks better English than you do.” A fellow employee was not treated in such a disparate way, according to Salas’s statements.
Joe Dusec, General Manager, was allegedly informed by the Plaintiff about the disparate treatment she felt she was receiving. He promised a meeting between Salas, Lindamore, and himself but the meeting never occurred.
Efforts to speak to a human resource representative allegedly failed until a written employee feedback opportunity arose for Salas to speak up about her allegations of racial discrimination and hostility in the workplace. Thereafter, Salas was written up for missing money from closings, which she paid to avoid losing her job.
Efforts to express her concerns during the write-up with Lindamore and Dusec failed to produce any response to her complaints. After Salas’s last complaint, Dusec terminated her employment.
The lawsuit demands, among other things, that Salas be re-employed by Kane Furniture at the rate of pay and benefits she would be receiving in current times if employment had been consistent to the current date.
Lisa Brock, Spokesperson for Kane’s Furniture vehemently denies the legal allegations. “This case was presented to the EEOC, and they were unable to conclude on the allegations, meaning there was no sufficient evidence. The case was dismissed. And under no circumstances do we allow racial discrimination.”
The Plaintiff’s attorney is Jason S. Remer of Remer and Georges-Pierre law firm in Miami.