March 24, 2021
Tramaine Burrell (“Burrell”), an electrician formerly employed by Champion Home Builders, Inc. (“Builders”) is claiming that he faced racial harassment and was then fired by Builders after making reports about the harassment. In his complaint, filed December 31, 2020, Burrell claims that Abel Madrigal (“Madrigal”), a co-worker, engaged in a pattern of racial harassment against him.
In the lawsuit, Burrell states that Madrigal referred to Burrell, an African American man, as “monkey ass.” Additionally, when a white co-worker got brown paint on his face, Madrigal joked to a group of employees that the co-worker looked like Burrell. Burrell was so embarrassed that he was forced to take time off from work.
When he returned, he formally reported Madrigal’s harassment to his direct supervisor Javier Arnelles (“Arnelles”) who in turn took the complaint to his manager, Ken Hodson (“Hodson”), head supervisor, Terry Bagneifski (“Bagneifski”), and human resources representative Mayra Magallanes (“Magallanes”). A meeting to discuss Madrigal’s acts of harassment was held between these individuals and Burrell on February 24, 2020.
Burrell states that at this meeting, he provided a summary of the racial harassment to Bagneifski, who said he would “take care” of it. However, Madrigal was never disciplined, and management continued to assign Burrell to work with Madrigal.
Burrell also alleges that he trained a new hire, a white man named Thomas (last name unknown), in March of 2020, and that Thomas received higher pay and more overtime opportunities, despite having far less experience than Burrell.
Finally, in April of 2020, some of the workers, including Burrell, were instructed to take two weeks off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at the end of that two-week period, Burrell was fired.
These events occurred despite Burrell being an exemplary employee, having received a special commendation on his one-year anniversary of working for Builders.
Madrigal no longer works at Builders. Burrell’s attorneys suspect he has been avoiding service of this lawsuit.
Burrell is represented by attorneys Kyle Todd and Troy R. Candiotti, of Kyle Todd, P.C.; and Preston H. Lim, of Lim Law Group, P.C. Requests for comment can be directed to attorney Todd at (323) 208-9171.