Former employees of the eatery “Lorenzo & Maria’s Kitchen” on Manhattan’s Upper East Side are accusing the owner Maria Armendariz of extreme racism. The two women filed a lawsuit against Armendariz for the racism and for failing to pay overtime.
Inelia Gabriela Ortega and Enriqueta Luna filed the lawsuit on March 8. They claim that Armendariz called her employees “whores” and “dirty Mexicans.”
Ortega and Luna allege in the lawsuit that they were employee at the restaurant for 12 years. They were scheduled to work shifts that were 14 hours a day six days a week.
Luna, 48, stated that Armendariz called her a “Mexican whore” and “prostitute” on a daily basis. Luna said, “She told me I was an a**faced Mexican and that I came to the U.S. to rob Americans’ money.”
The court documents reflect Luna’s allegations that Armendariz regularly called her “an old, fat woman with a big a** that was darker than a donkey.” Luna described her former employer as “light skinned and is from Uruguay.”
Nicodemus Pedraza is Armendariz’s boyfriend and the lawsuit accuses him of exposing himself to Luna as well as propositioning her. Luna said “The woman told me that I was crazy, that I was a hag.”
“I was always very respectful. I wasn’t trying to provoke my boss or her boyfriend.” Ortega, 57, alleges in the court documents that she was subjected to the same types of behaviors as Luna.
Ortega claims that, “She would call me the whore of the house. She said that I was going to rob her that I can to America to steal.”
Pedraza would sexually harass her as well Ortega stated and that he would also “goose” her. She stated that whenever she would complain about his behavior to Armendariz, she would get yelled at.
Ortega stated in the court documents that during the moments they complained about Pedraza, Armendariz would say that “it was our fault because we’re loose women.”
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