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Claiming discrimination over sexual orientation, two ex-workers sue famed Versailles Restaurant

BY BRENDA MEDINA
BMEDINA@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM

Two former employees of the famed Versailles restaurant sued the eatery and its owners after they said they were fired for complaining about what they described as illegal work practices, including discrimination over sexual orientation.

Rigoberto Hernández and Adriam Mena, who lost their jobs in December, said they were victims of retaliation after reporting that the restaurant had hired undocumented immigrants.

They also said other employees were being harassed over their sexual orientation and that there were irregularities in the restaurant’s salary reports.

Owners of the restaurant, the Valls family, deny the allegations.

The lawsuit already has impacted the business.

On Wednesday, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party announced it was canceling an event organizers had scheduled there for Saturday.

According to the lawsuit, Felipe Valls and Felipe Valls, Jr. had made fun of Hernández, the manager of the restaurant, and of Mena, a waiter.

“Our clients have suffered emotional harm by the way they were treated,” said lawyer Pelayo Durán, who represents Mena and Hernández.

The owners “looked for false excuses to terminate them.”

In the lawsuit, Hernández and Mena allege that Valls Jr. ridiculed Mena, calling his walk “effeminate.”

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