Kraft Heinz Lawsuit

Case name: Alex Horn, et al. v. Kraft Heinz Foods Company LLC

Case type: Race Discrimination, Retaliation

Filed in: U.S District Court for the Eastern District of California

Docket: Case no.: 1:21-at-00830

Case Summary

On August 19, 2021, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a lawsuit against Kraft Heinz Foods Company on behalf of former employees Alex Horn, Lance Aytman, and Keith Hooker, alleging racial discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866; the Americans with Disabilities Act; and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other laws.

According to the Complaint, Mr. Horn, Mr. Aytman, and Mr. Hooker experienced racial animus throughout the time they worked at Kraft Heinz’s dairy plant in Tulare, Ca. Plaintiffs allege, for example, that “no n*ggers as coordinator” was written on a work calendar, swastikas were drawn on multiple Black employees’ lockers, and non-Black employees commonly used the n-word and racist stereotypes in conversation. The hostile environment culminated in plaintiffs and another Black employee receiving anonymous notes in their lockers that read, “All n*ggers must go”, “Quit or die n*gger”, and “Sorry n*gger”.

The Complaint alleges that the harassment came from both co-workers and supervisors and that the Company failed to adequately respond. Indeed, the plant’s leadership “even claimed to be under orders from the Company’s corporate offices to avoid investigating the Tulare Plant’s rampant racism,” the Complaint alleges.  

As retaliation for reporting the abuse, according to the Complaint, the Plaintiffs were targeted with disciplinary actions and passed over for promotions in favor of non-Black employees with less experience. Ultimately, instead of addressing the racial abuse, Plaintiffs allege Kraft Heinz illegally terminated their employment.

The Complaint seeks damages of at least $30 million for lost pay and the emotional distress Plaintiffs experienced over the years.

Trial is set for September 2024.

Attorneys Involved in the Case

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