Owner of Tapioca Express in National City, Chula Vista faces sexual harassment lawsuit

Posted at 6:18 AM, Jun 14, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The owner of Tapioca Express stores in National City and Chula Vista faces a lawsuit over allegations he sexually harassed two female employees to the point where they quit their jobs.

According to the 12-page complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Eduardo Rivera is accused by two former workers of wrapping his arms around them, physically pressing against them and making inappropriate comments about their looks and bodies.

The claims date back to 2014 when the drink store workers were in their late teens and early 20s and Rivera was in his 50s.

The lawsuit alleges Rivera would “regularly frequent the various locations where” the accusers were working and harass them when others -- including his wife -- were not around or where actions would not be captured on camera.

The accusers claimed Rivera would ask them questions about their personal lives and make comments regarding their physical appearance while on the job.

"At one point, the store manager asked if she would go on a date with him, so it sort of becomes this really sexually saturated work environment,” said Christopher Green, director of the EEOC office in San Diego.

The lawsuit, which also names the store's parent company, seeks unspecified damages, but Green said it will include lost wages and compensatory damages for distress.

10News reached out to Rivera and Tapioca Express' parent company, but both have not responded to requests for comment.

According its website, Tapioca Express specializes in milk tea and other popular snacks from Asia, with stores in California, Nevada and Washington.