Loading...
Lawsuits

The Ivy Restaurant Sued by HIV-Positive Worker Reymundo Martinez

Comments (0)

By

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM
click to enlarge The Ivy.
  • The Ivy.

Updated at the bottom with a response from owner Richard Irving. First posted at 12:21 p.m.

Celebrity restaurant The Ivy was sued today for allegedly firing a busboy because he's HIV positive.

The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund announced the suit today, saying that the worker was terminated in violation of the state Fair Employment and Housing Act, which prohibits letting someone go because of a medical condition.

According to the suit:

The plaintiff, Reymudo Martinez, worked at the Robertson Boulevard hot-spot for five months before he was diagnosed with HIV in December in 2010.

In January, after he had a hard time working a shift as a result of side effects from his medication, and after his doctor requested a shift change to better accommodate his situation, the man was fired, MALDEF claims.

An employee at The Ivy today told the Weekly that version of events "is not true." A message was left for management for a more official response.


View Larger Map

The suit (PDF) claims that his termination letter was the first time Martinez received negative feedback at work.

MALDEF president Thomas A. Saenz:

The Latino workforce is the backbone of many critical industries in California, including the restaurant industry. Latino workers deserve protection, like anyone else, from discrimination based on bias against health condition or based on any other irrational bias.

The Ivy is known for its outdoor patio and paparazzi camped out front. The West Hollywood-adjacent eatery has been a regular destination for the likes of Lindsay Lohan, people named Hilton, Rob Lowe, and entire Hollywood agencies.

[Update at 1:08 p.m.]: Ivy owner Richard Irving responded quickly, telling the Weekly that the restaurant did not know about Martinez's status when he was fired for simply, he argued, being a bad worker.

He said that the average worker at The Ivy has spent about 15 years at the restaurant and that some employees have been there for 30. Martinez was virtually on probation as a new busser and simply didn't make the cut after about 5 months, he said:

We had a lot of complaints from his fellow workers that he wasn't pulling his weight. We don't enjoy letting people go, and we try to give them the benefit of the doubt. We didn't act immediately. We tried to get him trained and tried to help him and gave him time. But he never caught on, and he was never good.

As far as Martinez's HIV status, Irving says, "We didn't know any of that. We became aware of it after."

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

Related Content

Related

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.