Four women are suing the Martinez franchise owner of the popular Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza. The suit is based on their allegations that their former boss secretly videotaped them in the employee restroom while using the toilet and undressing. The women claim they suspected their boss, Jason Lassor, of secretly taping them in the workplace’s unisex bathroom for three months before they eventually discovered a hidden camera inside of a cardboard box placed on a shelf in the bathroom.
Lassor already pleaded guilty to one felony count of child pornography and a misdemeanor unlawful electronic video recording charge. One month after pleading guilty, Lassor was sentenced to 120 days in county jail. His time was served by electronic home detention.
One of the four women (who will go unnamed as sex assault victims) was under 18. The women’s representation indicated that the situation was a significant breach of trust and that they were completely devastated when they learned of the filming device. They will continue dealing with the after effects of learning that their privacy had been so irrevocably breached by their employer for some time.
While the women had suspicions that they were being filmed for months prior to finding proof, they feared reprisal and workplace retaliation if they were to complain about their suspicions. When the video camera was discovered in January of 2013, the woman who discovered it called one of the other women who was at home at the time. She came to the place of business, picked up the camera and delivered it to the Martinez police. Lassor was arrested later that same day.
The suit filed by the women against the company and the franchise owner claims negligent supervision, training and retention as well as invasion of privacy, sexual discrimination, harassment and other workplace violations of employment law.
If you have questions regarding your rights to address uncomfortable work situations (suspected or otherwise) while avoiding employer retaliation in the work place contact the California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.