Women describe alleged harassment, sex-for-shifts job requirement at Chula Vista restaurant

Ex-workers file suit against El Camaron, its owner

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Several former waitresses are coming forward with lurid stories about a restaurant owner in Chula Vista and claims of a startling job requirement -- sex with the boss or you're fired.

"Going to work was like being in a prison," said former El Camaron waitress "Julia," in an interview translated from Spanish.

Julia and another former waitress, "Jessica," both asked 10News to hide their identities. Both used to work for El Camaron owner Moises Cuevas.

"If he doesn't sleep with you, you're useless to him," said Jessica.

Julia was hired in 2011. Soon after, she said Cuevas invited her out and they had sex.

"I felt pressured and didn't want to lose my job," said Julia. "It was well known among the waitresses that you had to sleep with Moises."

She said she regretted the sex and spurned his repeated advances, including his offer to give her rent money for sex.

Last November, she said he came up with another offer.

"He offered me and another waitress $500 each for a three-way, and we said no," said Julia.

Months later, she said her hours were cut, and then she was fired by text.

According to Julia, when the open sign dims on weekends, the owner usually hosts a late-night gathering for his female staff.

"He would offer girls money to touch their breast for them and to give them lap dances," said Julia.

Jessica wasn't a regular at those parties, but she said she was pursued by Cuevas.

She said she was demoted to busser after she rejected him, and then fired by text after seven months on the job.

"Why were you fired?" asked 10News reporter Michael Chen.

"Because I wouldn't sleep with him. He has no respect for women," said Jessica.

In all, four former waitresses have filed suit against Cuevas and the restaurant, claiming everyone worked with this understanding: sex -- and continued sex with the boss -- or you're out.

Attorney Dan Gilleon, who is representing the women, said, "He was treating it like a Tijuana brothel. He treated them like slaves and expected them to do what he wanted."

"I want to make sure he knows he cannot treat women like this, like they're his property," said Julia.

A lawyer for Cuevas declined to comment on case.

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