Think your work environment is unhealthy? Well, take solace in the fact that the employees of California taquería might have it worse than you.
Taquería Garibaldi in Sacramento is facing scrutiny after employees claimed the owner brought a priest into the restaurant who pressured employees to confess their sins – particularly their "workplace sins" – during a wider investigation into the business's sketchy ethical practices.
Forgive Me Father
According to the allegations, the priest's visit began in a somewhat innocent manner. The owner announced that he had invited a priest as a benefit to all the restaurant's Catholic workers.
However, when the employees found themselves one-on-one with the priest, that's when things got weird. “I found the conversation to be strange and unlike normal confessions,” said Maria Parra, a former server.
Instead of allowing Parra to confess to whatever was on her mind, as is typical during a confession, the priest told her that he needed to ask specific questions to “get the sins out of me,” she wrote.
“He asked if I ever got pulled over for speeding, if I drank alcohol, or if I had stolen anything. The priest mostly had work-related questions, which I thought was strange. The priest asked if I had stolen anything at work, if I was late to my employment, if I did anything to harm my employer, and if I had any intention towards my employment,” Parra said.
Based on these reports, it seems clear the priest was not there to provide any kind of spiritual guidance – but rather to pressure employees to admit to breaking workplace conduct rules.
Why would the owners want to do that? Well, it turns out the taquería was under a separate investigation for wage theft. The prevailing theory among employees: that the owner was trying to pressure them into refusing to aid the investigation.
“They did feel that [the owner] brought the priest to intimidate them,” said the lead investigator.
That investigation is still ongoing, so what discipline (if any) the restaurant will face is yet to be determined.
What are your thoughts?