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Jennifer Spargifiore, 23, filed a civil complaint, alleging that Panda Express pressured her to strip to her underwear in front of colleagues during company training, NBC reports.
Panda Express and Alive Seminars, the self-improvement consulting outfit that led the exercise, are the defendants named in the suit.
The claims are bizarre and if true, which we don’t know yet, otherworldly creepy.
Spargifiore worked for Panda Express from Aug. 10, 2016 to July 15, 2019, primarily in L.A. County. She says, “The Alive seminars were often a prerequisite to promotion,” adding that attendees were required to provide their work ID numbers so seminar fees “could be debited directly from their Panda Express employee accounts.”
Spargifiore goes on to say the seminars in question quickly devolved into psychological abuse. In the lawsuit, Spargifiore notably named the date of July 13, 2019, two days before her departure, alleging that she was pressured into a “trust-building exercise” that required her to strip down to her underwear.
She did not add the reason they asked for such a thing, if they even gave one.
“She stripped almost naked in front of strangers and co-workers – was extremely uncomfortable but pressed on because she knew it was her only chance at a promotion,” the lawsuit said. “Meanwhile, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress, smiling, and laughing.”
If that isn’t eye-opening enough, the lawsuit goes on to claim she was then forced to “hug it out” with a male participant, who was also in his underwear.
“The seminar more and more resembled a cult initiation ritual as time went on,” the lawsuit says. Furthermore, the suit says Spargifiore was constructively terminated” just days after leaving the seminar early.
Panda Restaurant Group, Panda Express’ parent company, said it is conducting its own investigation.
Panda deflects that co-defendant Alive is a third-party organization, over which it has no control.
You’d assume Alive would quickly put out a comment denying these allegations, but it hasn’t yet.
I must say, if true, my earlier use of “otherworldly creepy” actually may not do it justice.
12 CommentsLeave a Reply
“That makes me a SAD Panda”, responds Petey, the Sexual Harrassment Panda.
Ok I found her facebook and from what I’ve seen of her photos I’d have to lean towards fake news too.
No one “made” her do it. She let herself be coerced. People, it is OK to stand up and call “bullshit” when someone tries to pressure you to do something you don’t want to do, and that includes at work.
Yes this is very creepy and it sounds like she was coerced into this.
What I don’t get is how women don’t see the difference between this type of story of undressing like this and undressing for instagram likes and oogles. Just cause it’s digital doesn’t change the fact of what action you are doing.
Andrew Cuomo works for Panda Express?
To be fair, they make a pretty decent but trashy orange chicken.
If that’s your company’s trust building exercise then an appropriate response might be, “Yikes. Nah, I don’t ever want, or need, or care, to trust any of you that much…ever. Oh and here’s my official notice weirdos. Peace.”
This can’t be true. Must be Russian propaganda again
Was SOME-YOUNG-GUY THE MANAGER?