LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A former dishwasher at a Glendale restaurant has reached a tentative settlement of his lawsuit alleging he was wrongfully fired in 2019 for taking medical leave, then was told after he objected, “We do things here the Armenian way, not the American way.”
Lawyers for plaintiff Andreh Fazelimoghadam filed court papers with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard L. Fruin on Wednesday stating that a “conditional” settlement was reached and that a request for dismissal would be filed by March 13. No terms were divulged.
The 60-year-old plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that Adams Kabab House was liable for wrongful discharge, retaliation, harassment and discrimination. He sought $10 million in damages.
In their court papers, lawyers for the restaurant stated that Fazelimoghadam “abuses the legal process to make money through lies, threats and extortion. He has a long-documented history of doing so. This case is just his boldest attempt to date.”
Fazelimoghadam was incarcerated for felony stalking from 2008 or 2009 to 2012 and after being released, he “began a pattern and practice of seeking out employers, working for a short period of time, claiming an injury and some violation of employment law and then filing, or threatening to file, workers compensation and civil claims to make money,” the restaurant lawyers stated in their court papers.
According to his suit, Fazelimoghadam was hired in July 2019 as a dishwasher at the Adams Street eatery and his duties additionally included the daily unloading of delivery trucks with an average of 40 large, heavy boxes of food supplies, pots and trash.
Fazelimoghadam worked alternating schedules of three or four days weekly in 14-hour shifts and was paid $100 per shift, far less than the minimum wage, the suit filed in June 2020 stated. He was not paid overtime was not provided meal and rest breaks, according to the suit.
Last November, Fazelimoghadam dropped a heavy crate of apples on his left toe, resulting in a long hospitalization and the amputation of one of his left toes, the suit stated.
Management fired him later that month due to his injury and disability and also because he took a medical leave, the suit stated. When Fazelimoghadam protested, his supervisor replied, “We do things here the Armenian way, not the American way,” according to the suit.
The restaurant never had workers compensation insurance covering Fazelimoghadam, a violation of California law, the suit stated. The eatery has at least three other seriously injured employees, all of whom fear they also will be fired if they complain, the suit stated.