PORTLAND, WA--A group of former Papa Murphy's employees have been picketing since July 1, 2011 outside the store at Northeast 15th Avenue and Fremont Street, where the group alleges managers discriminated against workers by denying them breaks, underpaying and using offensive language to refer to employees. Organizers say they will present the restaurant with a petition signed by about 300 supporters that states "workers often heard derogatory terms with no apology (such as sexist terms, racist terms like the ‘N’ word, and homophobic terms)."
The organizers of the protests are 20-year-old twins Dennise and Cherise Mofidi.
Dennise Mofidi, who worked at Papa Murphy's for about three years, says she quit in April after complaining to store manager Rick App about sexual discrimination. "I asked why does he treat females this way," Dennise Mofidi said, alleging he called them names and told them not to use cell phones while allowing male workers to do so. The twins say Dennise Mofidi threatened to complain to the Bureau of Labor and Industries, and that the manager then fired Cherise Mofidi in retaliation.
The Mofidis did file BOLI complaints in mid-June. Dennise Mofidi's complaint alleges App "called a female assistant manager a 'slut' and encouraged others to do the same."
Protestors plan to call for App's resignation as well as that of district manager Matt Malony.
Dennise Mofidi writes on a Facebook event page promoting the protest that a manager ordered one employee to scrub a toilet with a toothbrush as punishment for arriving to work five minutes late.
At least six former employees will protest Friday, the Mofidis say, along with friends and other supporters. Here are the group's written demands, which Dennise Mofidi said were written with help from the Urban League, a nonprofit civil rights advocacy group:
1. Papa Murphy's publicly condemn discrimination based on Race and Sex in their Portland branches.
2. All Papa Murphy's employees immediately enforce breaks that are mandatory in the state of Oregon every 4 hours of work.
3. We are asking that you (Papa Murphy's) fire Matt Malony district manager at the center of many of the accusation of discrimination.
4. Jennifer Souza the Human Resource manager gets retrained to better serve her diverse employees.
5. Workers that were fired and treated unjustly should get compensated for their unemployment as well as their losses.