Steven Urenda says in his Aug. 25 suit that an “increasingly hostile work environment” at Dasher Lights and Aspen Ridge Property Services forced him to resign. Urenda, who was employed as janitorial operations manager, is suing for more than $500,000 in damages.
Urenda said in his suit that he received the cake in a pink box in May of last year. Urenda, a Latino, said he was “disgusted by the obvious racial implications of mailing a large black chocolate penis to his household,” according to the suit. Urenda and his partner have a biracial child who identifies as black, and both his partner and their child saw the package, the suit notes.
The HR manager, Jessica Carlin, allegedly sent the cake, the suit states, which also notes that Carlin “recently admitted to calling him a ‘huge d–k’ and had apparently made other similar derogatory statements [about Urenda] to management.” Carlin’s name and information were accidentally left on the package sent to Urenda.
In the lead up to receiving the cake, Urenda admonished Carlin’s husband, Patrick Carlin, who was supervised by Urenda, for complaining about doing a job, the suit notes. Jessica Carlin reportedly brought Urenda into her office before he received the cake and began “bizarrely apologizing” for calling him a “‘huge d–k.’” She told Urenda that she ordered the cake because she “was very sensitive” about her husband. Carlin was allowed to continue working, while Urenda received a $50 gift card and an apology note from the company owners.
Urenda quit in July of last year, less than two months after receiving the cake. Dasher Lights did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
“To allow a supervisory employee in a position of power — especially one with responsibility for human resources functions — to act in such a blatantly racist and harassing manner toward an employee is inexcusable enough, but the retaliation my client received while advocating for some basic human dignity and a safe working environment went the step beyond,” Urenda’s lead attorney, Daniel Le Roux, said in a statement last month. “We hope this case sends a clear message that if an Oregon company allows this level of outrageous behavior, they will be held accountable.”