A former employee of Coastside Scavenger has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company. Jose Castellanos was an employee of the trash hauling and recycling company for 37 years before he was fired a year ago, which he alleges was in retaliation for his reputation as a whistleblower.
The financially troubled company was acquired last January by Recology of the Coast, and Castellanos names the new owner in his lawsuit. He also names the general manager of Coastside Scavenger, owner Louie Picardo, and Seacoast Disposal, Coastside Scavenger's sister company.
Castellanos claims in the lawsuit that the company began to criticize his job performance and he was demoted after his sons filed a grievance accusing the company of wage-and-hour violations and unsafe working conditions. His sons were fired from Coastside Scavenger two years ago after they hired an attorney to defend themselves against alleged retaliatory treatment by the company.
Castellanos says that his paychecks and those of other employees often bounced. He also says that the company owes him a significant amount in unpaid retirement pension contributions, which he is seeking through his lawsuit.
Castellanos also says that his former employer was in violation of safety and permit codes and did not correct them internally as he requested. He alleges that the company had mechanical problems with its garbage trucks, illegal electrical wiring done without a permit at a company garage, and other allegedly unethical business practices. After he was fired, he wrote about the violations to the California Highway Patrol, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Pacifica Building Department.
Ex-employee of Pacifica trash hauler sues for wrongful termination (San Jose Mercury News)