New Lawsuit Filed Against Ye (Formerly Kanye West) For Discrimination, Retaliation, Unpaid Wages

LAWSUIT: Ye illegally fired injured employee after complaints of dangerous conditions at dilapidated beach house, failed to pay worker more than $1 million.

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, September 13, 2023/ — Legal woes continue to mount for Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, as the Grammy Award-winning performer faces another lawsuit filed Wednesday by a former employee who once maintained the artist’s now gutted and dilapidated multimillion-dollar Malibu, California, beach house.

The lawsuit against Ye by Tony Saxon was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging disability discrimination, violations of multiple labor codes, including dangerous working conditions, unpaid wages and reimbursements, and wrongful retaliatory termination. Case number: 23STCV21961

A copy of the lawsuit and visuals can be found at this link. All visuals are available for use and should be credited to Tony Saxon.

“Ye has shown a reckless disregard toward his employees and has flouted the law in unbelievably dangerous ways throughout this entire project at the Malibu house,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Ron Zambrano, a partner and Employment Litigation Chair at West Coast Employment Lawyers. “He continues his pattern of not paying his bills while treating workers terribly. No employee should have to suffer through the sort of working conditions Mr. Saxon was forced to endure yet Ye showed no concern and merely wanted the work done, despite the hazardous and unsafe, not to mention illegal, actions he was trying to force the plaintiff to undertake. Mr. Saxon refused and was fired merely for trying to do the right thing, and now Ye won’t pay him the money he is owed under the law.”

The latest complaint comes on the heels of several other lawsuits recently filed against Ye and his Donda Academy private Christian school in Southern California, alleging flagrant violations of labor laws and educational guidelines, retaliatory practices, unsafe conditions for students and mismanagement to the point of recklessness.

According to the latest lawsuit, Saxon was hired by Ye in September 2021 as a project manager and would also serve as full-time security and live-in caretaker at the beachfront home, in addition to being responsible for overseeing construction-related tasks, including cleaning, demolition, hiring contractors and coordinating workers.

Ye reportedly bought the home designed by famed Japanese architect Tadao Ando earlier that month for more than $55 million, then proceeded to have it gutted to make way for an entire remodel, leaving it now rotting in shambles with no windows or electricity.

“Throughout the entirety of Plaintiff’s employment, Plaintiff was sleeping in makeshift conditions, finding empty spaces on the ground and using his coat as a makeshift bedding,” according to the lawsuit. “Plaintiff made constant complaints to Defendant of various safety hazards including workers unsafely demolishing various parts of the house with no safety equipment. No action was taken by YE to address the complaints made by Plaintiff.”

Saxon was promised payment of $20,000 per week yet about a month later he had only received one $20,000 payment for his services and $100,000 for construction costs, according to the complaint.

On Oct. 22, 2021, Saxon complained to Ye that he was exhausted and overburdened with the amount of work, and he needed time to rest, but Ye ignored his requests. About a week later, Saxon severely injured his back on the job, according to the lawsuit, and informed Ye he needed time off to recover.

On Nov. 4, 2021, Saxon again informed Ye of his back injury and instead of following the law and providing reasonable accommodations for the plaintiff, Ye merely responded by asking about the next phase of the project, the complaint states, in violation of the Fair Housing and Employment Act.

A day later during a team meeting and after most of the windows and electrical wiring had been removed from the home, according to the lawsuit, Ye demanded that Saxon remove the remaining windows and electricity.

“Plaintiff expressed concerns about the extreme danger of such actions, as the project was not yet completed. Despite Plaintiff’s explanations, Defendant persisted, raising his voice, and insisting on moving large generators inside the house, which could potentially lead to a fire hazard,” according to the lawsuit. “Defendant threatened Plaintiff, claiming he would be considered an enemy if he did not comply. Faced with such dangerous demands, Plaintiff chose not to put others and himself at risk and was subsequently told by Defendant to ‘get the hell out.’”

On the same day, Saxon also informed Ye of unpaid bills and wages, as he had been expressed repeatedly throughout the duration of his employment.

Ye then fired Saxon in retaliation, the lawsuit alleges.

“Plaintiff was terminated for not complying with Defendants’ dangerous requests. Specifically, when Plaintiff refused to engage in unlawful conduct or to engage in activity that would further cause him physical injury, Mr. Ye responded, ‘If you don’t do what I say, you’re not going to work for me, I’m not gonna be your friend anymore and you’ll just see me on TV,’” according to the lawsuit. “Plaintiff replied, ‘I don’t watch TV.’ Mr. Ye ended the exchange with ‘leave.’”

In addition, according to the complaint, Saxon was misclassified as an independent contractor for the duration of his employment, and illegally denied overtime pay, receiving inaccurate wage statements and underpayments or no payments at all.

Saxon says he is now owed more than $1 million in unpaid wages and loss of earnings.

Brian Skoloff
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