A 22-year-old man who was allegedly called the n-word and other racist terms is suing his former employer saying they did nothing about it.
Enrique Garcia says he took the job as a welder at Roofmaster in Monterey Park last September to be close to home while he was studying civil engineering at a local college. A few months into a shift change, he says, he got a new supervisor and that's when he was subjected to the offensive names.
Garcia says he took out his phone and recorded the supervisor at work.
The supervisor allegedly calls Garcia, who is Mexican, the n-word on this recording, one of four taken on the same day, according to a lawsuit filed by Garcia against the supervisor and Roofmaster.
The lawsuit says Garcia reported the alleged name calling to the company's human resources. Instead of investigating, Garcia says, the company tried to dissuade him from complaining.
"I felt humiliated," he said. "That was degrading."
That's when Garcia got in touch with attorney Dan Gilleon.
"They came after Enrique and began asking him, 'Hey, wait a minute? Did you have permission to record here?'"
Gilleon says that under California law, what Garcia did is legal.
"When you say stuff like this out in the open so that other people can hear, none of that is protected, you can record away," Gilleon said.
Roofmaster did not respond to calls for comment.
The lawsuit says Garcia was initially put on paid administrative leave. He was then moved to unpaid administrative leave this week, according to an email provided to NBC4 by Garcia's attorney.
The email from Roofmaster also suggests the company is investigating the allegations.