A Tongan man who worked 18 years at May Foundry & Machine Co. has filed suit alleging that foundry employees called him racially offensive and obscene names, whistled to him like a dog, mocked him by giving him dog feces wrapped as elk meat and discriminated against him on the job in various other ways.
Sione Fungalei filed suit in 3rd District Court on Wednesday alleging that intentionally reckless behavior by foundry employees went unchecked by supervisors and that those behaviors defamed him and caused him to suffer emotional distress.The suit said Fungalei did what was expected of him, but was subjected to "hateful and derogatory terms repeatedly and persistently and on a daily basis over the course of years."
Fungalei had worked at the foundry from 1980 until Feb. 3, 1998, when, according to the lawsuit, "he felt forced to quit his job because of the ongoing and severely abusive behavior of the foundry, its managerial employees and the workers employed by and under the supervision of the foundry."
The suit, which asks for a jury trial, seeks damages of $350,000, attorney's fees and other costs.
Officials for the May Foundry said they were unaware of the suit and declined comment.
The case might be the starting point for some other negotiations, said Lynn McMurray, Fungalei's attorney.
"It's most unfortunate situation. We filed to preserve the statute of limitations on our claims. We have not had a chance to discuss the situation with the foundry and would hope that we could work something out," McMurray said.