LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former driver for a nonprofit is suing his ex- employer, alleging he was wrongfully fired in 2021 after complaining that his manager had asked him to date and have sexual relations with her daughter and also said his sons looked like gang members.
DaJuan Fowler's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against CRCD Enterprises and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development alleges harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation, breach of contract, negligent hiring, supervision and retention violation of the state Business and Professions and Labor codes.
Fowler seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
A CRCD representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit brought Jan. 11.
"Since its founding in 2005, CRCD has been devoted to inspiring, educating, and empowering the historically disadvantaged youth and residents of South LA.," states the organization's website.
Fowler was hired in January 2021 as a beautification field coordinator and was promoted later that year to a bulky item driver, the suit states. In June 2021, his manager used a flirtatious tone as she showed the plaintiff photos of her daughter and insisted that he call and date the daughter, according to the suit.
"Shocked and in disbelief that his manager would do such a thing, Mr. Fowler immediately declined (the) requests," the suit states.
But the manager presented additional images of her offspring, told the plaintiff, "My daughter is single" and repeated her requests that he call the daughter, the suit alleges.
Although Fowler asked his manager not to show him any more photos of her daughter, the manager did not give up and asked him to have sex with her daughter, the suit states.
"However, each time she asked, Mr. Fowler respectfully declined and walked away," the suit states.
At one point the manager became upset with Fowler, changed her tone from flirtation to anger and said, "You don't want to talk to her? Okay, okay," and walked away, the suit states.
A few weeks later, Fowler brought his young sons to work for a youth program and his manager said they looked "like gang members," the suit states.
"Mr. Fowler's boys began crying due to (the manager's) senseless, humiliating and degrading false remarks," according to the suit, which further states that the plaintiff was "very hurt from (the manager's) remarks."
Shortly thereafter, Fowler brought his sons to a construction class and the manager made an obscene remark about the boys, the suit alleges. Fowler's complaints to upper management about his manager's alleged conduct did not result in any change in her behavior, the suit states.
Fowler's work performance, which was not criticized in the past, suddenly became an issue as he began receiving ratings stating he needed to improve, the suit states. He was suspended in October 2021, allegedly in retaliation for complaining about his manager, the suit states.
Fowler returned to work and received a promotion and raise from the CRCD CEO, but he was suspended again in December 2021 and fired when he came back to work later that month after being told he was failing to perform his job duties, the suit states.
Fowler has experienced a substantial loss of earnings and suffered severe emotional distress because of his firing, the suit states.
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