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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Ex James Batmasian worker sues over being denied overtime pay

Some California readers may have heard of the real estate mogul James Batmasian. He is being accused in a state court by a former employee of not paying him overtime. The man claims that he was offered vouchers to get massages instead of the money.

The plaintiff, who worked for Batmasian in another state, claims that he was forced to work in a sexually charged environment. He alleges that he would receive lewd text messages from Batmasian, and these messages also were received by upper management. Additionally, the plaintiff claims he was subjected to sexual images and jokes.

When the plaintiff worked overtime and expected payment, he was told it was against Batmasian's policy and was denied. In place of his overtime pay, he was offered vouchers to massage parlors that would provide him sexual stimulation. Although he complained about the situation, he maintains that nothing was ever done. He was also required to work for charities for free and to donate to them as well.

Batmasian was involved in a sexual harassment case with a former leasing agent and had apparently asked the plaintiff to defend him in his case. After refusing to participate in the case, the plaintiff claims he was terminated. The defendant alleges that all of the allegations are false and are being used to damage his reputation. It is against the law for workers in California and elsewhere to be offered bonuses or other incentives in lieu of being paid for overtime. Those who feel believe they were denied payment may wish to have their complaints reviewed to determine if legal action may be necessary.

Source: courthousenews.com, "Ex-Staffer Says Tycoon Paid in 'Happy Endings'", Izzy Kapnick, Aug. 7, 2015

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