In a recent Hollywood employment law development that Vincent Howard has been watching, actress Sharon Stone has been sued by her former live-in nanny, for violating labor laws, wrongful termination and racial harassment and slurs based on her ethnicity.
According to the Los Angeles employment lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior court this week, Stone's former nanny, Erlinda Elemen, worked for the movie star for over four years, before being wrongfully terminated in February of last year. Elemen claims that in the last six months of her employment Stone began harassing her with ethnic slurs, in reference to her Filipino heritage--including derogatory comments about her religion, food and her accent. She allegedly discouraged the nanny from talking to Stone's children so they wouldn't learn to talk with her "accent," made comments about the stupidity of Filipinos and forbid the nanny from reading her Bible in Stone's home.
As a Filipino immigrant and U.S. legal resident, Elemen reportedly began her employment with Stone in 2006 and was named "head nanny" in 2008, which required her to live with Stone full-time and take care of her three children even over holidays and during their travels.
Elemen claims in the lawsuit that although she was initially paid with proper overtime compensation when working during the holidays or on trips--once Stone learned from her accountant that she was paying the nanny overtime in January 2011, she accused the nanny of stealing and demanded that she give the money back. Elemen reportedly explained to Stone that overtime compensation was required by state and federal overtime laws, and that returning the payment was illegal. In the weeks following, Stone allegedly yelled at the nanny in front of visitors and staff, until her employment was terminated in February 2011.
As Vincent Howard has discussed in a previous Riverside employment lawyers blog, under California Labor Code, if an employee works over eight hours per day or over forty hours in a work week, as well as the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in a workweek, they are entitled to overtime payment of one and one-half times their normal rate of payment. If an employee works beyond twelve hours in one day and beyond eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek, they should receive two times their normal payment rate.
Elemen was reportedly given approval from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), to file a lawsuit against Stone--seeking unpaid wages, penalties and damages.
According to a statement released by Sharon Stone, the lawsuit is completely frivolous, and clearly filed by a disgruntled former employee who is looking for an opportunity to collect money from the star.
If you or someone you know have experienced violations of California labor laws, contact our Costa Mesa, California labor and employment attorney, Vincent Howard today, for a free consultation about your rights.
Sharon Stone Sued By Former Nanny Over Alleged Slurs And Overtime Pay, The Huffington Post, May 23, 2012
Sharon Stone sued by former nanny, CNN, May 24, 2012
Related Web Resources:
California State Minimum Wage Rates, The U.S. Department of Labor
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