HOUSTON - A Houston man is fighting for justice after his coworkers at the food delivery service he once worked for beat and called him derogatory names.
Sandeep Gupta said during his years working at the Schwan's home delivery food company, he endured daily discrimination and even physical abuse at the hands of his co-workers, because of his Indian Heritage.
Gupta told Local 2 that the discrimination started in Austin and continued when he transferred to the company's Houston offices to work as a general manager.
"On a regular basis they would punch me in the groin. I would be held down by two people," said Gupta.
The former general manager said other employees, including his district manager, called him derogatory names and even locked him in a freezer.
"My family was referred to as terrorists on a regular basis," said Gupta.
Gupta said his coworkers even Photoshopped a picture of him surrounded by a SWAT officer to make him look like a terrorist.
"I thought my hands were tied and I could not really go and complain directly to HR due to retaliation," said Gupta.
He said when he finally got the courage to tell a manager, the abuse didn't stop. That's when he quit his job and filed a lawsuit against Schwan's.
"What this man suffered was absolute de-humanization. What white Caucasian employees did to him just for being Indian-American is a disgrace," said community activist Quannel X.
Local 2 contacted Schwan's, which released this statement.
"At no time prior to his resignation from his employment at Schwan's did Mr. Gupta report any claims of discrimination or harassment as to what allegedly happened to him five to seven years ago. Schwan's denies those allegations and intend to defend this case vigorously. Mr. Gupta and his attorneys are, again, attempting to use the news media to leverage settlement demands. We believe this occurs out of the recognition that their case is unfounded and has little chance of prevailing in a court of law. In contrast, Schwan's places our confidence in the justice system and will litigate this case in court."
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