June 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Trader Joe’s Sued by Former Employee Re: Christmas Party Gift Complaint

Trader Joe’s is being sued by a former employee, who says he was fired for complaining about being given a gift resembling a male sex organ during a 2014 store Christmas party.

Paul D. Roberts’ Los Angeles Superior Court complaint alleges wrongful termination, sexual harassment, failure to prevent sexual harassment, retaliation and negligence. He is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

A spokeswoman for Monrovia-based Trader Joe’s did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday, Roberts was hired as a crew member at the Trader Joe’s store on Lake Avenue in February 2007. In December 2014, a company Christmas party gift exchange was held and crew member attendance “was expected and implicitly required,” the suit states.

The party occurred on a day Roberts was not scheduled to work, but he says he felt compelled to attend to maintain a good relationship with co- workers and supervisors.

After Roberts arrived at the party, co-workers seemed “excited” about his arrival and anxious for him to open his gift, which was given to him by co- worker Armina Asefvasziri, according to his court papers.

“Plaintiff opened the wrapped package and was shocked, embarrassed and humiliated to discover that the gift was a small penis with testicles which, when submerged in water, would increase in size,” the complaint says. “Mr. Roberts was incredibly distraught in receiving such an obnoxious and offensive item, particularly in front of his supervisor and having received it from a female.”

Roberts says he left the party feeling “humiliated and embarrassed.” He filed an internal complaint and told supervisors that if he had given a similar gift to a female co-worker, he likely would have been reprimanded or fired, according to his court papers.

Roberts felt one of the bosses was nonchalant and did not take him seriously, and claims the same supervisor later interrogated him about false accusations Asefvasziri allegedly made about the plaintiff.

Meanwhile, Asefvasziri approached him four days after the party and teased him about his reaction to the gift, according to the suit.

A human resources staff member told Roberts in January 2015 that his complaint was being investigated, but he was fired two days later, according to his court papers.

Related Posts

Toddler Fatally Struck by Relative’s RV at Dockweiler State Beach

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

2-Year-Old Child Lancaster Identified as Victim in Tragic Accident A toddler died Saturday after being struck by a relative who...

Texas Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Threatening U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Gaherty Targeted the Congresswoman With Racist and Violent Threats  A Texas man was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison...

LAUSD Considers Cell Phone Ban for Students During School Day

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Some Parents Object Citing Safety Issues During a Crisis The Los Angeles Unified School District is considering a policy that...

Brentwood Beat: Giving Some Brentwood Thanks on the Fourth of July

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

As July 4th approaches, we should be thankful to live in America.   Sure, our country has its issues, but immigrants...

West Hollywood Resident Robbed at Gunpoint Near Sheriff’s Station After Pride

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Victim Recounts Harrowing Early Morning Encounter in Rainbow District A West Hollywood resident and his friends were heading home in...

Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Two Men Arrested After Injuring Elderly Woman in Road Rage Incident at LAX

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Violent Altercation Hospitalized Elderly Passenger  Los Angeles Police Department detectives from the Pacific-LAX Division have arrested two men involved in...

Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants in Historic West Los Angeles Eviction Case

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Landlord’s Eviction Plan Under Ellis Act Rejected, Tenants Can Stay After a lengthy legal battle that spanned over a year,...

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

Culver City Police Collaborate with VA and LASD to Aid Unhoused Veteran

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Joint Efforts Lead to Successful Assistance for a Veteran in Need The Culver City Police Mental Evaluation Team collaborated with...

University of Miami President to Replace Gene Block Amid Controversy

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Julio Frenk Named New UCLA Chancellor at UC Regents Meeting The search for a new chancellor at UCLA is over....

West Hollywood Kicks Off WeHo Pride Arts Festival This Weekend

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Celebration Features Diverse LGBTQ+ Events From June 14-16 Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of...

30th Anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Murders Commemorated with Virtual Vigil

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Family Honors Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in Virtual Candlelight Vigil This week marks the 30th anniversary of the...

Los Angeles County Launches Historic LGBTQ+ Commission with Inaugural Meeting

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Supervisor Hilda Solis Leads Ceremony Marking Milestone for LGBTQ+ Advocacy Los Angeles County Supervisors convened Tuesday to inaugurate the county’s...