An Ex-LuLaRoe Employee Says In A Lawsuit His Coworkers Called Him The N-Word And Bullied Him With Slave Songs
Brandon Stubblefield filed the lawsuit on Jan. 18 in California Superior Court in Riverside. It names LuLaRoe, Stubblefield’s former supervisor, Hector Casas, and 20 other unnamed defendants.
Stubblefield, according to the complaint, worked as a forklift operator at LuLaRoe’s warehouse in Corona, California, from November 2016 until his employment was terminated in July 2017.
Casas became his direct supervisor “shortly after the holidays at the end of 2016,” according to the lawsuit.
“We do not comment on open litigation related to an employee matter,” LuLaRoe said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “LuLaRoe is strongly committed to maintaining a fair, inclusive and safe workplace environment where all of our employees work hard and treat one another with dignity and respect.”
BuzzFeed News called a number connected to Casas, which rang unanswered and didn’t have a functioning voice mailbox.
The second number was answered by a man who identified himself as Hector’s son, Carlos. When told BuzzFeed News was calling about a lawsuit, Carlos said he would not provide his father’s number and that he had no comment.
Stubblefield’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
“Although almost all employees took part in this behavior which was aimed squarely at [Stubblefield], it was frequently Casas who led the joke-making, setting the tone for everyone else,” the lawsuit read.
Stubblefield alleges that he was “an excellent employee,” saying four months into the job he was given a pay raise. He started the job making $12.50 an hour, but by the time he was fired he was making $14.50.
Once, Stubblefield claims, he was moving heavy objects when a group of employees began to sing “Wade in the Water” to him — a song associated with slaves escaping captivity via the Underground Railroad.
In May, Stubblefield alleges he complained to LuLaRoe’s human resource department.
Casas then suspended Stubblefield, in what the lawsuit claims was “direct retaliation.” Stubblefield said he never faced any discipline at work before his first complaint to HR.
In one of his meetings with the HR manager, Stubblefield said he asked the manager why they were not taking notes. He claims the manager “shrugged [him] off.”
Stubblefield said he then heard through the grapevine that HR had held another meeting, which he was not invited to, where employees were told there should be “no more n*gger jokes” in the workplace.
“[Stubblefield] was not told about this meeting, demonstrating that [the] Human Resource office was well aware of the hostile and racist work environment [he] was subjected to.”