A native of Mexico has filed a lawsuit against Puritan Bennett Corp. claiming discrimination over a policy that forbids employees to speak a language other than English on the job.
Maria Mendez of Vista also alleges that the company retaliated by temporarily suspending her from work after she filed a formal discrimination suit.
Mendez has worked at the company's Carlsbad plant since November, 1987. Her job involves retrieving parts that are to be shipped elsewhere for assembly, according to the lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Vista.
Puritan Bennett makes and distributes medical devices. Company officials did not return telephone calls about the suit Thursday.
Mendez said she filed the suit for the sake of her community, not herself.
"It's hard for me, all of this," said Mendez, who continues to work for the company. "I'm working because I need the money. I have to survive."