Legal Firm Rogge Dunn Group PC Files 3 Racial Discrimination Lawsuits Against Panini America On Behalf of Former Employees

Legal Firm Rogge Dunn Group PC Files 3 Racial Discrimination Lawsuits Against Panini America On Behalf of Former Employees

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Dec. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, legal firm Rogge Dunn Group, PC announced that it has filed three racial discrimination lawsuits against sports collectibles company Panini America on behalf of three former employees: Nora Vargas, La Shanda Woods and Derrick Pickett.

The complaints allege that Vargas, Woods and Pickett were denied promotions during their respective tenures at Panini due to intentional discrimination. Furthermore, the positions that all three individuals applied for ended up being filled externally by Caucasians with less experience and qualifications.

Additionally, Vargas, Woods and Pickett were subject to a racially-hostile work environment filled with toxic harassment, including scenarios such as:

  • Pickett, an African-American who worked for Panini from May 2010 to November 2020, witnessed how "Caucasian employees touch African-Americans' hair with astonishment, which belittled those African-American employees because it clearly insinuated that African-Americans' hair was unusual and strange. In 2015, a Caucasian employee "touched Pickett's hair in the same manner. Pickett objected, stating 'Don't touch my hair,' but the practice continued at Panini."

  • Woods, an African-American woman who worked for Panini from 2012 to April 2023, watched as "white management would have out-of-office meetings, lunches, dinners and holiday celebrations. Almost all of the persons invited to these events were white. Woods and other non-Caucasian employees were not invited and thus were overtly segregated from white co-employees and missed out on business opportunities and career development that occurred during these events."

  • Vargas, a Hispanic woman who worked for Panini from July 2020 to May 2021, alleges that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Panini did not allow her "to work from home while it allowed numerous Caucasian employees to work from home."

The respective complaints shed detailed light into countless instances of systemic and pervasive discrimination at Panini that all three individuals experienced as they were denied opportunities for advancement. Vargas, Woods and Pickett's lawsuits also note that Panini created "an atmosphere of abuse and intimidation" and "supervisors participated and condoned the racist misconduct."

Earlier this year, civil rights groups Until Freedom and Black Church PAC issued a letter to Panini and the NBA, NFL, MLB, National Women's Soccer League, MLS, and the NHL to highlight Panini's discriminatory hiring and employment practices. The letter demanded that Panini take corrective and immediate action to implement policies and ensure representation and fair treatment throughout the company.

The legal filings were made in the Northern District of Texas: Dallas Division, as Panini's headquarters are in Texas and the discriminatory conduct alleged took place in the state.

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SOURCE Rogge Dunn Group, PC

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