NYC Catering Company Sued, Owner Called Workers 'Dirty Mexicans'

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A New York City catering company that has been running for 30 years is being sued after the owner verbally abused her employees and called them “whores” and “dirty Mexicans.”

Lorenzo & Maria’s Kitchen is owned by Maria Armendariz. She operates the company on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and has called her loyal workers names, as well as letting her boyfriend taunt them.

Court filings indicate the abuse started more than ten years ago.

Ex-employees Enriqueta Luna and Inelia Gabriela Ortega said they were forced to work 14 hour days, six days a week. They never received overtime and had to deal with Armendariz and boyfriend Nicodemus Pedraza’s abuse the entire time.

Luna, 48, said she was racially and sexually harassed by the owner and her boyfriend.

“She told me everyday that I was a Mexican whore. She told me I was a prostitute. She told me I was an ‘ass faced Mexican,’ and that I came to the U.S. to rob Americans’ money. I never robbed anyone of anything. I didn’t come here to rob anyone. It offended me a lot,” she said.

Armendariz, who is from Uruguay, regularly called her a “dirty Mexican” and said she was an “old fat woman with a big ass, darker than a donkey.”

Pedraza, the boyfriend, is also mentioned in the lawsuit as he often dropped his pants and exposed himself to employees. Luna said he at one point asked her to “get on all fours” so he could have sex with her.

After she refused, he called her “crazy” and “a hag.”

Ortega, 57, is from Chile and said she experienced similar things while she worked as a maid for Armendariz.

“She would call me the “whore of the house.” She said that I was going to rob her - that I came to America to steal,” Ortega said.

She was also teased about her Chilean and Peruvian backgrounds.

When Ortega and Luna complained about the treatment they were receiving, they were told they could only blame themselves.

Even customers were aware of the maltreatment, as some left reviews commenting on how the owner “drives everyone nuts” and “shouts at the kitchen staff.”

One guest even vowed to never go to the shop again.

“Nothing would make me shop here again due to the abusive owner, Maria. A real nut case. Screaming nonstop at her staff, in very loud Spanish, who cower in front of her. I asked her to kindly stop screaming, and she cursed me out.”

“Maria needs to up her medication, or get out of business. New Yorkers should not support this kind of abusive enterprise.”

The lawsuit hearing is scheduled to take place in the next few months.

DailyMail,  RadarOnline