Attorneys Pelayo Duran and Roderick Hannah File Lawsuit on Behalf Former Employee against Versailles Restaurant and La Carreta Restaurant in Miami

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According to the Lawsuit, Plaintiff Claims He Also Witnessed Alleged Incidents Involving Mistreatment of Employees as Well as Other Illegal and Discriminatory Activity

Attorneys Pelayo M. Duran of The Law Offices of Pelayo Duran, P.A., and Roderick V. Hannah of Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A., have filed a lawsuit against the Valls’ businesses. This lawsuit was filed on behalf of Claudio Calderin, a former Versailles and Bird Road La Carreta restaurant assistant manager, who claims the restaurants’ owners and managers created a hostile work environment and retaliated against him after he first reported alleged unsafe and unsanitary conditions and other conduct at the famed restaurants. The lawsuit was filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County County (Case Number 2016-000657-CA-01).

According to the lawsuit, back in late 2013 Calderin began to internally complain and object to alleged unsafe and unsanitary conditions at Versailles, in particular in its kitchen and food preparation surfaces, the kitchen equipment, and plumbing. Calderin claimed he even provided restaurant management with numerous photographs evidencing the alleged unsafe and unsanitary conditions, yet nothing was done to correct the conditions, as stated in the lawsuit.

Calderin claims in his suit that he was also a witness to various instructions given to him and former Versailles general manager, Rigoberto Hernandez, by Felipe Valls, Sr., the patriarch of the Valls family that owns and operates both Versailles and the La Carreta restaurants. According to the lawsuit, these instructions included alleged orders to demote, reduce the work hours, change the work schedules, and change the work stations of certain restaurant employees in an effort allegedly to make the working conditions for them so intolerable they would quit. While Hernandez voiced objections to and refused to carry out Valls’ orders, Calderin, fearing for his job, followed the instructions and regrettably implemented the actions against various Versailles employees as detailed in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, after Hernandez lodged his internal complaints, Hernandez was terminated, purportedly for making and authorizing excessive voids and discounts of customer checks and for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with another male employee, Adriam Mena. In the lawsuit Mena, who also had internally complained about the alleged mistreatment, was also terminated at or about the same time as Hernandez. Hernandez and Mena subsequently filed suit against Versailles and Valls in Miami Dade Circuit Court.

According to the lawsut, Calderin claims in his suit that he was interviewed by management and an outside attorney about Hernandez and Mena’s complaints. Calderin also claims that he again complained about the alleged nature of the unsafe and unsanitary conditions at Versailles in the lawsuit.    

The lawsuit claims that after his interview, Calderin was involuntarily transferred from Versailles to an alleged undesirable location and shift at the Bird Road La Carreta. While at La Carreta, Calderin continued to internally complain to management about what he perceived were alleged improper practices and unsafe and unsanitary food preparation conditions, which Calderin supported with photographs. According to the lawsuit, Calderin claims he was then allegedly subjected to further retaliation and a hostile work environment at La Carreta, which allegedly included excessive scrutiny of his work, false accusations of theft, undermining his authority and work-related decisions, and setting him up in numerous ways to fail.    

In the lawsuit Calderin claims that he complained internally about Valls’ actions and even provided alleged proof of Valls’ repeated cellular phone calls to him and copies of the original four $100 bills that Valls had given. Calderin alleges that the human resources director failed to properly investigate his complaints, falsely accused Calderin of wrongdoing, and took no corrective action as explained in the complaint.

Calderin’s attorneys also claim in the suit that after he resigned, Calderin was allegedly denied various employment opportunities as a result of false and disparaging statements La Carretas’ management made to the prospective employers the lawsuit adds.

In the complaint, Calderin is seeking a jury trial and a judgment against Versailles, La Carreta, and the Valls Group. Anyone who has any information related to these cases is encouraged to please contact Pelayo M. Duran and Roderick V. Hannah at (305) 266-9780.

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Charles Jones