02/05/2013 // Los Angeles, CA, USA // Keller Grover LLP // Eric Grover // (press release)
Los Angeles, CA — It doesn’t matter whether you’re over 6-feet-tall and 300 pounds, your employer may still have the nerve to assault you and withhold your pay, as pop sensation Justin Bieber’s former bodyguard has alleged in an employment lawsuit. The former bodyguard is suing Bieber for $421,261 in unpaid wages, overtime, vacation and other wage benefits, says Los Angeles employment lawyer Eric Grover.
Moshe Benabou filed an employment lawsuit on Thursday, January 10 that alleges that the 18-year-old singer punched him repeatedly during a confrontation on October 10. Bieber and Benabou reportedly got into a disagreement about how Benabou handled a member of Bieber’s entourage, as first reported by Ontheredcarpert.com.
Court documents revealed that Benabou claims to have worked for Bieber as a personal bodyguard from March 2011 to October 10, 2012, and clocked between 14 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week. Benabou also named a Delaware company that employed Benabou, BT Touring LLC, in the suit.
The incident that spurred the lawsuit reportedly occurred backstage prior to a concert. Bieber allegedly “launched an abusive tirade” against Benabou because he believed that Benabou was attempting to physically keep a member of Bieber’s entourage away from him. The lawsuit maintained that Bieber “repeatedly punched Moshe Benabou in the chest and upper body area.”
Benabou contends that he did not retaliate or try to protect himself during Bieber’s tirade, as he walked away from the confrontation. Bieber reportedly fired him on the spot.
Benabou further alleges that he was told that he was a salaried employee, and therefore was not entitled to overtime pay. But the lawsuit asserts that BT Touring LLC violated California’s Industrial Welfare Commission Orders and Labor Code by not compensating him for overtime and vacation pay that he earned during his employment and that his position was not considered exempt from overtime and related wage and hour laws.
“This case clearly shows that no matter what type of business you work in, you may still be subject to labor law violations resulting in unpaid wages,” says Los Angeles employment lawyer Eric Grover. “It’s important that every employee has a basic understanding of how labor laws apply to their employment, so if necessary they are able to stand up and fight for their unpaid wages. It is also important for employers, regardless of the size of their companies, to also be aware of the types of positions that are considered exempt and the requirements that make them so.”
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