Safelite Responds to Discriminatory Allegations in Lawsuit

Safelite has responded to allegations of multiple discrimination claims in terminated employee Mauro Castillo Vidal’s opposition for summary judgment, Vidal says management began treating him differently after his wife Christina filed a separate lawsuit against the company.

Mauro Vidal worked as a warehouse driver for Safelite from May 2007 to July 2010. He filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California after his termination, on the grounds that Safelite violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. He alleges management treated him unfairly by cutting his hours and disciplined him unjustly after his wife filed a separate lawsuit.

Safelite has denied Vidal’s allegations, stating Vidal lacks proper evidence that the company’s actions were discriminatory or retaliatory. In their response, the company alleges that Vidal lied about racial and sexual comments directed at another employee, according to their management after looking into the claim.

“After obtaining statements from each individual, [manager Max] McDonald, in conjunction with Safelite’s Human Resources department and Castillo’s direct supervisor, concluded that Castillo lied when he accused Heckman of racially and sexually threatening Harris, because none of the employees identified by Castillo—including Harris, the alleged victim—corroborated Castillo’s key and very specific allegation,” Safelite said in the court documents.

The company stated it had reason to believe that Vidal lied to them about these comments, which is grounds for termination and the reason why McDonald fired Vidal. While the company does affirm that management met with Vidal in order to discuss his wife’s lawsuit, Safelite says there is no evidence to suggest that any harm came to Vidal from the meeting.

The company also said that Vidal was disciplined for knocking a guard rail in front of a manager while operating a forklift. In the complaint, Safelite said the disciplinary action was justified and the incident was unique and cannot be compared to others who did not face disciplinary action.

Additionally, Safelite claims that Vidal’s allegations are inconsistent and misleading.

“Moreover, while Castillo’s Opposition cleverly discusses his alleged hours reduction after discussing his alleged protected activity (Opp. at 17), and uses non-specific terms like ‘soon [after]’ (Opp. at 3) to give the impression of causation, Castillo was unable to provide reliable testimony regarding when he allegedly suffered this change in schedule. Indeed, the one concrete date Castillo cites in his Opposition—‘within six weeks of receiving the March 3, 2010 writeup’—is readily exposed as wishful thinking. Castillo testified multiple times: ‘I don’t remember the dates’ of the alleged changes,” Safelite said in court documents.

Safelite has denied all claims of discrimination and motioned for summary judgment in February 2017. The court has yet to release a decision.

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