FAIRFIELD — An asset protection investigator for Raley’s says the lawsuit he filed – after being fired from a special “Shock and Awe” detail that targeted store clusters and placed one or two employees inside the store operating closed-circuit cameras while up to eight employees with cellphones were outside in a vehicle communicating with one another – has been settled.
Fairfield resident Steven Anthony Ferreira, who represented himself in the legal matter, said he could not discuss terms of the settlement reached Tuesday. Raley’s declined to comment on the case. An attorney representing the grocery store chain said the matter has been resolved.
Ferreira sought damages of more than $100,000 in the lawsuit filed last year.
He started as a loss prevention agent in 2007 and was promoted to investigator the next year, the lawsuit states. His dismissal in 2011 came after he noticed an apparently intoxicated woman sitting along the wall in front of a store, according to the suit. Her pants were pulled down to her thighs and she was urinating in public, the suit adds.
The woman’s actions violated the California Penal Code and state Alcohol Beverage Control regulations, Ferreira said in the suit.
He recognized the store had to challenge violations on its property or could lose its liquor license and ability to sell alcohol, Ferreira stated. He used the cellphone Raley’s provided, “took a photo of the female in the commission of her crimes” and forwarded it with a description of the incident to his supervisor, according to the lawsuit.
A supervisor for the area replied by text with a joke, the suit adds.
Ferreira, receiving no direction other than the joke, forwarded the photo and text description he’d provided to other employees working the Shock and Awe detail because they were moving to another nearby store the next week, the suit continued.
This action had been done by asset protection staff several times in the past and led to the prosecution of several people, Ferreira said in the suit. He made no jokes about the photo and did not send it to anyone outside the special asset protection detail, the suit states.
Ferreira said he had received an award for a similar action during an interview-and-interrogation class Raley’s provided months earlier, when human resources and upper management of the grocery store chain were present, according to the suit.
On May 27, 2011, a human resources manager told Ferreira he violated company policy by photographing the intoxicated female, the suit continues, and the manager compared the action with an incident when Raley’s did not permit a disabled employee to use the restroom when needed.
Ferreira said if he thought he was violating company policy, he would not have so acted but after the manager contacted the corporate office, she advised Ferreira he was suspended. On June 10, 2011, Ferreira was told his employment with Raley’s was terminated, the suit states.
Ferreira in his lawsuit had also raised issues about overtime pay and unpaid wages.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]