Former Officer Says Company Fostered Culture of Racial, Sexual Discrimination
A former security officer has filed a sexual harassment and racial discrimination lawsuit against her former employer Palisades Patrol, also known as Gates Security, according to a complaint filed in superior court on Sept. 25.
The lawsuit accuses Gates Security, its owner, Conejo Valley resident Scott Wagenseller and his employees of Sex/Gender Harassment, Sex/Gender Discrimination and Race/National Origin Discrimination among other conduct in violation of California employment laws.
In the lawsuit, former Palisades Patrol employee Shannon Valles states Wagenseller himself participated in the workplace “harassment and discrimination.”
Valles, who is Hispanic, also alleges she was discriminated against based on her racial background. The lawsuit claims that she was referred to as “Pocahontas” and “Navajo.”
Valles worked for Palisades Patrol for two years and seven months and details a culture of workplace harassment in the lawsuit.
“Defendants SWAG and Palisades Patrol created an unsafe workplace as administrative employees (i.e. managers and supervisors) exhibited violent and aggressive tendencies at work as they often yelled violent threats, became aggressive, lost their tempers and used egregious profanities against lower-level employees,” according to the lawsuit.
Palisades Patrol’s administrative employees “would violently yell at employees within an inch from their face, almost as if they were about to enter a physical altercation with them,” the lawsuit further alleges.
On a particular occasion, Wagenseller visited the offices of Gates Security and declared to the staff “Great, now everyone is going to know we have a transgender working for us.” The lawsuit further alleges that Wagenseller was purposely seeking any way possible to terminate Valles, stating “What can we fire him for?’”
Also named in the 108-page lawsuit are Palisades Patrol employees Kurt Park and Eric Fine.
Wagenseller would not comment on the complaint and lawyers representing Valles did not return phone calls in time for press.
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