Martinez vs. My Generator Guy

  • Court: California State, Contra Costa County, Superior Court
  • Case Number: MSC21-00359
  • Filed: February 19, 2021
  • Judges: Barry Baskin | Danielle K Douglas
  • Case Type: 36: Unlimited Wrongful Termination
  • Cause: Employment discrimination

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff(s):Michael Martinez
  • Counsel for Plaintiff: Brian E. Hawes


  • Defendant(s): Greg Cocotis| Bottom Line Services Company | My Generator Guy
  • Counsel for Defendants: Clyde Long


Verdict Information

  • Verdict Date: May 15, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to Plaintiff: $6,240.00

 About the Case


Michael Martinez, a Hispanic employee, filed a complaint alleging employment discrimination and wrongful termination against his former employer. The employer, My Generator Guy, is a business operating in Contra Costa County, California. The complaint also named the owner, Greg Cocotis, as a defendant. Martinez’s employment discrimination complaint alleged several causes of action stemming from racial harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination based on race and national origin, and wrongful termination of his employment in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The complaint stated that on or around February 25, 2020, Cocotis discriminated against Martinez due to his Hispanic race when he blamed Martinez for not properly stocking a tool truck, making the remark, “that’s the reason I don’t hire Mexicans…they don’t understand shit.” Cocotis’ wrongful conduct created a hostile work environment for Martinez. Cocotis also wrongfully blamed Martinez for not bringing a tool that Martinez was never told to bring.


On or around March 2, 2020, Martinez’s employment was wrongfully terminated in an egregious act of employment discrimination based solely on his race and national origin as a Hispanic individual. The unlawful termination occurred shortly after Cocotis made several other blatantly discriminatory and derogatory comments about Martinez’s Mexican heritage and Hispanic background. Despite Martinez’s satisfactory job performance, he was fired in a clear-cut instance of race and national origin discrimination prohibited by employment laws like the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

After suffering the discriminatory wrongful termination, Martinez alleged he was subjected to further violations of his rights as an employee. Specifically, he claimed the employer failed to provide him with accurate, itemized written wage statements for his final pay periods as mandated by California Labor Code section 226. This deprived Martinez of transparency into his compensation upon termination. Even worse, Martinez claimed that his employer failed to pay him all the final wages owed promptly after the wrongful termination. This action directly violated Labor Code sections 201 and 203, which require timely payment of termination wages. This compounded the financial damages caused by the unlawful employment discrimination and wrongful termination based on Martinez’s race and ethnicity.


In his comprehensive employment discrimination and wrongful termination complaint against My Generator Guy and Greg Cocotis, Martinez sought a full range of remedies available under California law. He sought compensatory damages to compensate for the significant economic damages caused by losing his job due to unlawful discrimination. This included recovering his lost wages, lost benefits, and any other out-of-pocket expenses.

Martinez also sought punitive damages to punish and deter employers from engaging in malicious, oppressive, or fraudulent discrimination. Additionally, Martinez sought penalties authorized by the California Labor Code for the employer’s wage statement violations in failing to provide accurate written notices of his final compensation after the wrongful termination. He also sought waiting time penalties under Labor Code sections 201 and 203 for the employer’s willful failure to promptly pay all final wages owed upon the discriminatory discharge.

 Jury Verdict

The jury determined that the harassing conduct was a substantial factor causing harm to Martinez. The jury then awarded damages to Martinez. The only damage amount provided was $6,240.00, which the jury awarded for Martinez’s past economic loss in the form of lost earnings resulting from the harassment and hostile work environment he endured.

Court Documents: Available upon Request