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Panda Express Employee Allegedly Forced To Strip Down For ‘Trust-Building Exercise’

(Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Elizabeth Louise Contributor
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A 23-year-old former Panda Express employee has filed a lawsuit after she was reportedly forced to strip in front of a crowd of people during a work seminar and was wrongfully terminated.

Jennifer Spargifiore, who previously worked for Panda Express from Aug. 10, 2016 to Jul. 15, 2019, described the work seminars as being “bizarre,” in her lawsuit filed against, Panda Express and Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy, NBC News reported.

Spargifiore claimed that the seminars held by Alive were viewed as a requirement  in order for employees to move up with the company.

The lawsuit describes one specific seminar held on Jul. 13, 2019 in which Spargifiore ended up stripping down to her underwear for an “exercise” focused on “trust-building,” according to NBC.

The lawsuit described how Spargifiore reportedly “stripped almost naked in front of strangers and co-workers – was extremely uncomfortable but pressed on because she knew it was her only chance at a promotion.”

Spargifiore and a male gentlemen were then allegedly told to “hug it out,” while still stripped down to their underwear, according to The Washington Post.

“Meanwhile, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress, smiling, and laughing,” the lawsuit claimed. “The seminar more and more resembled a cult initiation ritual as time went on.” (RELATED: Vatican Reportedly Says Employees Could Be Fired If They don’t Get COVID-19 Vaccine)

Spargifiore was fired from her job with Panda Express in Jul. 2019 after she made the decision to leave the seminar early, according to NBC.

“We do not condone the kind of behavior described in the lawsuit, and it is deeply concerning to us,” Panda Express explained in a statement. “We are committed to providing a safe environment for all associates and stand behind our core values to treat each person with respect.”

“Panda Restaurant Group has not and does not mandate that any associate participate in Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy, nor is it a requirement to earn promotions,” the company added.

The parent company of Panda Express, Panda Restaurant Group, Inc located in Rosemead, Calif. has reportedly started its own investigation into the allegations by Spargifiore as detailed in her lawsuit, according to NBC.