A former Panda Express employee is suing the company for degrading training, which was sponsored by Panda Express as a prerequisite to promotion, in 2019 as she was allegedly required to strip down to her underwear and hug a partially dressed co-worker during a "cult-like ritual."
The 23-year-old woman is suing the Panda Restaurant Group and Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy for sexual battery, a hostile work environment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The former employee alleges that the seminar quickly turned into psychological abuse. She claims that those in attendance were told to sit and not talk and were left in isolation for an hour before a man came in and started yelling at them like a drill sergeant. She was then forced to strip down to her underwear under the guise of trust building.
The case could turn from civil to sexual assault.