That was a half-hearted idea.
An Oregon property maintenance company is accused of harassment by a former employee who says the human resources manager sent him a penis-shaped cake and told him to “eat Ad-K,” a new lawsuit says.
Steven Urenda, who served as a janitorial operations manager at Dasher Lights LLC and Aspen Ridge Property Services, is seeking more than $500,000 in damages after he was forced to resign because of an “increasingly hostile work environment,” according to the filing The lawsuit was filed in court in Multnomah County.
Urenda said in the lawsuit filed Aug. 25 that the trouble began when he received a pink box in May 2022 that contained a large black chocolate penis and scrotum and the bold letters “EAT AD–K” on the inside of the box .
Urenda, who is of Hispanic descent, said he was “disgusted by the obvious racist implications of mailing your household a large black chocolate penis,” which he shared with his partner and child, who is of mixed race and identifies as black , the complaint says.
Both Urenda’s partner and the small child saw the contents of the package, the lawsuit continues.
The uncouth delivery was allegedly sent by HR representative Jessica Carlin, whose name and information was accidentally left on the offending package.
The lawsuit alleges that Carlin “recently admitted to calling him a ‘huge jerk’ and apparently made other similar derogatory comments.” [about Urenda] to management.”
In the weeks leading up to the delivery, Urenda – who started at Dasher in March 2022 – clashed with Carlin’s husband, Patrick Carlin, who worked as his subordinate.
Less than 10 days before the package showed up at his door, Urenda reprimanded Patrick Carlin for complaining about cleaning up trash at one of the company’s customer locations, the complaint says.
Just a few days later, Carlin reportedly pulled Urenda into her office and “bizarrely” began apologizing for calling him a “huge idiot” and making other comments he was unaware of.
At the end of the month, however, Urenda received the package that made him feel like he was “now the company’s ‘resident bastard,'” the complaint continues.
Carlin admitted to sending the package and told Urenda she ordered it for him because she was “very sensitive” when it came to her husband.
Urenda said he confronted Dasher owner Matthew McCasline about how the package made him feel, but he said he got the impression from him that he wanted to “end the conversation and bury the issue as quickly as possible.” “wanted to sweep”.
And despite her reported confession, Carlin was allowed to continue working at Dasher, the lawsuit says, while Urenda eventually received a letter of apology from the owners with a $50 gift card.
“[Urenda] “believes that Dasher’s alleged “investigation” into Carlin’s blatant offensive behavior was conducted by McCasline and/or Paxman and not by a trained human resources professional,” the complaint states.
Urenda felt “degraded and humiliated” by the process, which he said led to bullying as the rubbish he collected in the company van was thrown away the next day.
Urenda finally resigned in July, less than two months after Carlin allegedly sent him the offensive cake.
“It is inexcusable that a manager in a position of power – particularly one responsible for human resources functions – should behave in such a blatantly racist and harassing manner towards an employee, but the retaliation my client suffered when he stood up for one Basic human beings are inexcusable. Dignity and a safe working environment went one step further,” said Urenda’s lead lawyer Daniel Le Roux. said in a statement on Monday.
“We hope this case sends a clear message: If an Oregon company allows this level of outrageous behavior, it will be held accountable.”
Dasher Lights did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment on the allegations.