SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — A former Panda Express employee in Santa Clarita is suing the company and a seminar academy connected to the employer for alleged disturbing behavior.
The 23-year-old employee said she was subjected to a hostile work environment and failure to prevent harassment, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress after she said she felt required to attend training from Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy, which she described as cult-like.
She said at one point, she was told to strip down to her underwear and hug another person who was also not wearing much clothing.
“Managers at Panda Express told her if you want to promote within the organization, you have to attend these seminars,” said attorney Oscar Ramirez. “They were yelled at, berated in a very aggressive manner there was a lot of Confrontation. They essentially broke people down in order somehow someway build them up again.”
Panda Express said the following in a statement:
“Panda Restaurant Group takes these allegations very seriously and is conducting an investigation. We do not condone the kind of behavior described in the lawsuit, and it is deeply concerning to us.”