A Denver city employee claims he wasn't trying to be offensive when asked two Hispanic co-workers how much it costs their "people to get across the border these days," instead he was thinking about the movie "Fast Food Nation," the Rocky Mountain News reported.
Jack Burghardt, an administrative support assistant in the Clerk and Recorder's Office and a Polish immigrant, was suspended for four days after the Nov. 1 incident, but appealed it and won, according to the newspaper.
According to city documents that were recently made public, Burghardt "testified that he did not intend to be demeaning in asking the question, which came to his mind in thinking about the movie Fast Food Nation."
The movie, according to the documents, centers around a meatpacking plant that employs undocumented workers from Mexico and produces tainted beef in unsafe and unsanitary working conditions.
In one of the opening scenes, a group of Mexican people paid a trucker to take them across the border. They are later hired by the meatpacking plant, and their story forms one of the main plot lines in the movie."
His two co-workers, Tina Gallegos and Consuelo Dominguez, who were both in the break room when the comment was made were "shocked," "extremely upset" and humiliated, the newspaper reported.
Burghardt is a Polish immigrant who has lived in the U.S. for the past 13 years, the newspaper reported.