When a California Food Manufacturer Cannot Fire an Employee for Food Contamination, Everybody Loses

August 4, 2022. Pasadena, CA. – The lawsuit of Juan Carlos Bravo v. Huy Fong Foods epitomizes why so many good employers are leaving California. Juan Carlos Bravo was discharged because he caused contamination of the world-famous siracha sauce.

Almost a year after his discharge Mr. Bravo filed his lawsuit alleging 16 causes of action, including harassment, discrimination, and retaliation based on a physical disability.

After nearly five years of litigation and four weeks of jury trial, fourteen of Mr. Bravo’s sixteen allegations were defeated, including his harassment and discrimination claims. Two of the three defendants were also dismissed because the trial judge saw no facts that supported plaintiff Bravo’s claims.

“Plaintiff Bravo initially sought $10M. At trial, he reduced his claim and instead asked for $2.7M. It is our belief that the split decision by the jury (9-3) on the two claims he prevailed on, shows that Huy Fong Food’s position was valid and that the allegations made by Plaintiff Bravo were not supported by the evidence. The jury only gave him 10% of what he originally demanded,” said Paul P. Cheng, the defense attorney for Huy Fong Foods.

The Judge has not approved the verdict and has urged both parties to mediate the matter and seek resolution before post-trial motions and an appeal occurs.

This lawsuit caused this upstanding company, which provides quality jobs and stable income to so many Californians’, to go through nearly five years of senseless litigation. When a California food manufacturer cannot fire an employee for food contamination, everybody loses.