Attorneys Josh Gruenberg and Daphne Delvaux represented two African-American employees against their former employer, a large meat supplier. The employees worked in the sanitation department of the Los Angeles facility. The two men alleged they were subjected to racial harassment and discrimination, including use of the “N” word, monkey sounds directed at them, and co-workers throwing meat on their machines that had recently been cleaned. They further alleged that the supervisors were present for some of the harassment and that management and/or human resources never fully and adequately investigated their claims, and that as a result of complaints they made they suffered retaliation.
Ultimately the two men were forced to quit their jobs. The cases were filed in Los Angeles but were ordered to arbitration. A motion was filed with the arbitrator that the arbitration clause was invalid which was bravely granted and the matters were remanded back to the trial court. Gruenberg and Delvaux then litigated the case, taking over 15 depositions and locating multiple witnesses who signed supporting declarations. The cases settled shortly before trial for $1,200,000, much of which was structured by the Valdez firm to provide lasting security for the two men.