Puerto Rican American sues TIAA-CREF:  Suit Highlights Wrongful Termination, Race Discrimination, National Origin Discrimination, Harassment, Failure to Prevent Harassment, Retaliation, Retaliatory Discharge, Statutory Unfair Competition, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress at one of largest financial services firms in United States

EL SEGUNDO, CA (June 17, 2016) — Rafael Rivera Luciano, a Puerto Rican American, filed suit this month in San Francisco Superior Court against Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA-CREF), one of the largest financial institutions in America, which traces its roots to Andrew Carnegie. The suit accuses TIAA-CREF of wrongful termination, race discrimination, national origin discrimination, harassment, failure to prevent harassment, retaliation, retaliatory discharge, statutory unfair competition, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

According to the suit, the discrimination commenced shortly after Rafael began his employment with TIAA-CREF.  Rafael was employed on the California’s 529 college savings plan (“ScholarShare”).  In this position, the Complaint alleges that his former supervisor subjected him to pervasive and ongoing harassment, abusive conduct and racist slurs.  According to the Complaint, his supervisor “referred to Rafael as “McFly”, a demeaning term meant to insult one’s intelligence if the connection is made to the movie “Back to the Future”.   This same supervisor “threatened to “send [Rafael] back to Mexico” if Rafael did not open more accounts in his San Diego territory.”  When Rafael properly complained he was told that “Ralph can be a bit rough on the edges”.

Per the Complaint Rafael’s supervisor was finally terminated.  Almost simultaneously, Rafael received a written warning, stating that he was being disciplined for “failing to conduct [himself] in a manner that is consistent with TIAA’s values.” Rafael responded by requesting specific instances of when his “values” fell short. He never got a response.  He was terminated about 15 months later.

“Rafael’s proper complaints to management were ignored, and he was terminated.  We look forward to commencing discovery to determine whether the stated reasons for Rafael’s termination were simply a pretext for unlawful and wrongful conduct.  We’re interested to learn if one the State of California prime vendors is violating California statute, case law and public policy while profiting from its citizens.” stated Chris Adishian, attorney at Adishian Law Group, P.C. and one of the lawyers representing Rafael.  “We look forward to shedding light on the facts of this case.”

The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, seeks damages for lost wages, benefits and career opportunities, emotional distress, special damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Click here for a copy of the Complaint.

About Adishian Law Group, P.C.

Adishian Law Group ( is a California law firm with a statewide practice in the areas of Corporate law, Employment law, Real Estate law and Mediation Services. As of November 2015, the firm has represented corporate and individual clients located across 22 California counties, 13 States outside of California and 9 foreign countries in over 480 legal matters. is one of the oldest continually operating law firm websites on the Internet.  The firm serves its clientele via three offices located in the major business hubs of El Segundo, Palo Alto and San Francisco.

For more information about this case, contact Chris Adishian:

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