City of Carson employee Jonathan Chaney, who was hired by the City to run youth enrichment programs was physically abused and called the “N” word by a patron at a City run facility, then terminated after reporting the incident.
March 16, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. at the offices of the Fraigun Law Group, in Sherman Oaks, CA, a small press conference was held. In attendance were Marina Fraigun (attorney of record for Mr. Chaney) Mr. Chaney and members of the local press.
Attorney Fraigun, who is one of California’s Top Female Employment Discrimination Lawyers and known for her aggressive legal representation, shared that Mr. Chaney has filed a lawsuit against the City of Carson for Race Discrimination, Retaliation, Failure to Take all Reasonable Steps to Prevent Discrimination and Retaliation, Violation of Labor Code Section 6400, Retaliation in Violation of Labor Code Section 1102.5, and Retaliation in Violation of Labor Code Section 98.6.
Jonathan Chaney has a long history of being a leader in the community, a coach and a positive influence in the lives of at risk youth.
Although he had worked for the City before that time, Chaney began working at the Veterans Sports Center location on February 17, 2014.
On February 19, 2014, while trying to enforce City rules, Chaney was accosted by a Veterans Sports Center patron, Louis Rivera. Rivera used offensive racial slurs against Mr. Chaney (“nigger” and “little boy”), and physically assaulted Chaney.
Chaney immediately reported the racial harassment, assault and unsafe/hostile work environment to Michael Whittiker, City of Carson’s Veteran’s Park Site Manager and the head of City of Carson’s Department of Parks & Recreation. Later, Chaney was shocked to discover that although there had been numerous complaints about his conduct over the course of several years, apparently nothing whatsoever had been done. Specifically, other employees and patrons had repeatedly complained, both verbally and in writing, about Rivera’s inappropriate language and behavior.
In retaliation for Mr. Chaney’s complaints to the City of Carson about the racial harassment and assault by Rivera, Mr. Chaney was put “on-call” and was not allowed to return to work for almost two months.
Jonathan Chaney was NOT interviewed by City of Carson about his complaints, and was never advised as to the outcome of any purported “investigation.” Fraigun argues that the City of Carson failed to conduct any investigation whatsoever into Mr. Chaney’s complaints of racial harassment and discrimination, as required by law.
Although Chaney was eventually permitted to return to work on April 16, 2014, on April 30, 2014, the City of Carson subjected Jonathan Chaney to an illegal and retaliatory meeting. The meeting was attended by Councilman Eliot Santarina; City Attorney Bill Winder; Superintendent of Parks & Recreation, Cedric Hicks, Mr. Whittiker, and others.
To Chaney’s surprise, Councilman Santarina did not even pretend to be neutral, stating that he was at the meeting “on behalf of Mr. Rivera”. Mr. Santarina announced that he had known Rivera since Rivera was a child. Chaney was fired on the spot. Mr. Chaney has filed a lawsuit.
Attorney Fraigun made it very clear this is a case where the City of Carson stepped well over the line and allowed Chaney to be abused twice. Once by Louis Rivera and then again by the City. (End)
For additional information about this case or to arrange an interview with Mr. Jonathan Chaney or Attorney Marina Kats Fraigun of the Fraigun Law Group fraigunlaw.com contact:
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