Christian rapper Kanye West could be forced to pay up to $30 million after two lawsuits alledge that he broke California’s strict labor and wage rules during his Kanye West’s Sunday Services.
West, who is reportedly in the middle of a divorce with wife Kim Kardashian, conducted the church-like performances throughout America in 2019 before Covid brought a stop to it in 2020. West even took to the Paris Fashion Week.
According to the lawsuits, they are reported to center around a November 2019 Sunday Service in which he debuted his “opera” at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California titled “Nebuchadnezzar.”
The first of the two lawsuits was filed on behalf of 500 performers. According to the Daily Mail, they claim that they were forced to work for two days with no meals or breaks. Michael Pearson, one of the performers representing the group in the lawsuit, said that for their time, they were reportedly told they would be paid $500 no matter how much time they worked.
Allegations include not paying hundreds of employees on time, or ‘at all’ in some cases, as well as not granting the overtime wages, meal and rest breaks and business expenses to which they were legally entitled as employees in the state, rather than individual contractors.
The other, filed by entertainment attorneys Harris & Ruble, centers on behind-the scenes staff of around 300 people. Hair stylist Raina Leon, representing the backstage employees, claimed in documents filed in July last year at The Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, that West, as well as affiliate companies Live Nation Worldwide, Art Partner, and producers, did not pay her the $550 she was owed for 120 days.
When she was paid, Leon claims that she and other employees were charged $20 to cash their own pay checks, resulting in a loss.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court has joined the lawsuits together and on there was a conference on Friday with all the defendants, which includes West’s company West Brands LLC, celebrity video producers AJR Films, and casting companies SaYven Entertainment Corp and Mill Ticket Entertainment LLC.
Kanye may have to shell out $1 million for each lawsuit if he settles, but as high as $30 million if he contests it.
The church service is an invite-only event, which means that no one, other than its attendees, quite knew what it was about.