A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court Monday by seven former workers at Kim Kardashian’s Hidden Hills home alleges the reality star and beauty mogul violated California labor laws.
Andrew Ramirez; his brother, Christopher Ramirez, and son Andrew Ramirez Jr.; Aron Cabrea; Rene Ernesto Flores; Jesse Fernandez and Robert Araiza, who worked on the property as gardeners and maintenance staff, claim Kardashian withheld taxes from their wages without furnishing those amounts to the government.
They also allege Kardashian did not pay for overtime, did not allow meal and rest breaks and required a 16-year-old on the crew to surpass the 48 weekly working hours allowed for one his age. One plaintiff claims when he raised some of these issues, he was fired.
The 10-point complaint, which The Times reviewed, alleges that “Plaintiffs ... were not paid on regular periods, were not given their required meal and rest breaks, were not provided a means to record all their hours, were not paid all their hours, were not reimbursed for employment expenses, were not paid all their overtime wages, and were not paid their wages upon termination of employment.
“In addition, Plaintiff Andrew Ramirez was terminated when he inquired about his rights as an employee and Plaintiff Andrew Ramirez, Jr., was employed as a sixteen-year-old minor, but worked longer than the maximum hours allowed to be worked by minors under the Labor Code.”
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Frank Kim of Kim Legal, also is representing plaintiffs in a similar labor suit against Kanye West, from whom Kardashian filed for divorce in February.
Frank Kim said in a statement, “Wage theft and other workplace violations are a widespread problem in Los Angeles. My firm is currently investigating other potential violations against these defendants, as well as other powerful families and businesses on behalf of everyday workers.”
A spokesperson for Kardashian told Page Six: “These workers were hired and paid through a third-party vendor hired by Kim to provide ongoing services. Kim is not party to the agreement made between the vendor and their workers, therefore she is not responsible for how the vendor manages their business and the agreements they have made directly with their staff.
“Kim has never not paid a vendor for their services and hopes that the issue between these workers and the vendor who hired them can be amicably resolved soon.”
Victor Narro of the UCLA Labor Center said more facts would be necessary to determine liability in this case, but asserted, “Low-wage workers in Los Angeles lose $26.2 million per week due to wage-theft violations.
“A common form of wage theft takes place with subcontracting or third-party hiring of workers to perform a service for the entity (or person) that created this arrangement,” he wrote in an email to The Times.
“The judge in this case will decide on the liability of the parties involved, but the facts are not uncommon to what many workers experience when they perform maintenance, gardening and other services in residential homes,” Narro added.
While Kim Kardashian West is named as defendant, the suit also lists “DOES 1 through 50, inclusive” — placeholders for individuals or businesses who are not yet named but may be added later as defendants.