Enrique Garcia became a welder at Roofmaster in Monterey Park, California, last September while studying civil engineering at a local college. A few months into the job, a new supervisor began regularly calling him offensive names, NBC LA reported Friday.
Garcia captured the hostile interaction at work in four separate recordings. According to a lawsuit filed by Garcia against the unidentified supervisor and the company, the supervisor repeatedly called Garcia a "n***er."
When Garcia reported the incident to the company's human resources department, the company tried to discourage him from following through with his complaint.
"I felt humiliated," Garcia told NBC LA. "That was degrading."
Garcia then decided to file a lawsuit with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
According to NBC Los Angeles, the company also placed Garcia on unpaid administrative leave this week, claiming that he didn't have permission to record on company premises.
According to Garcia's attorney, Dan Gilleon, however, recording in this context is legal under California law.
"When you say stuff like this out in the open so that other people can hear, none of that is protected, you can record away," Gilleon told NBC LA Friday.
In a recent email sent to NBC LA, Roofmaster, which refused to provide any additional comment, said that the company is currently investigating the allegations against the supervisor.