Sriracha Worker Gets Million-Dollar Verdict

Aug. 4, 2022
A former employee of sriracha sauce maker Huy Fong Foods has won $1.025 million in a lawsuit.

A former employee of sriracha sauce maker Huy Fong Foods has won $1.025 million in a lawsuit charging that he was fired for raising health concerns about working conditions.

Juan Carlos Bravo worked for Huy Fong from 2013 to 2017 and filed suit in May 2018, alleging that his firing came about because he complained that working conditions at the plant in Irwindale, Calif., were triggering his asthma. According to a statement from his attorneys, the problems started when Huy Fong altered its ventilation system in response to odor complaints from the surrounding community.

The suit charged that supervisors ignored him or called him “lazy” when he asked to change assignments, even berating him for wanting to wear a mask.

Huy Fong tried to argue that Bravo was fired for gathering ingredients that had spilled onto a dirty piece of cardboard and putting them back into a batch. Bravo replied that that was what he had been told to do and what other workers did in that situation.

The jury entered a $1.025 million judgment against Huy Fong, but did not find the company acted with malice, which would have made them liable for punitive damages.

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