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Friday, September 7, 2012

Celine Dion Hit with Wage and Hour Claim by Former Employee

Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil are being sued by their former employee for not paying him overtime wage.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the couple’s former employee, Keith Sturtevant, started working for them since March 2009 until June 2012 as a warehouse manager.

In his lawsuit, Sturtevant claimed that during his entire employment with the couple, he never received overtime pay despite the fact that he regularly worked for more than 40 hours a week.

Moreover, Sturtevant claimed that the couple unlawfully declared him as an “exempt” employee so that the latter would not be required to pay worker’s compensation insurance and taxes. Aside from Sturtevant, there were also three other workers that Dion and her husband classified as independent contractor for the same purpose, added Sturtevant in his lawsuit.

Sturtevant further said that although he was hired as a warehouse manager at the couple’s warehouse in Stuart, Florida, he also perform other duties at the couple’s giant house in Hobe Sound, Florida such as fixing ice makers, cleaning house shutters, building stages, and repairing kitchen items.

Also, Sturtevant alleges that there might have been some nepotism involved in the case since the only worker that was classified as an “employee” and was being paid with overtime wages was the estate manager’s brother, Scott Hyde.

The lawsuit is seeking for unspecified damages and other fees related.  Meanwhile, Dion’s party was not yet providing comments regarding the matter.

Under the California employment laws, workers and employees must receive a minimum wage of $8.00 per hour of work. However, said statute has exemptions to those who are working as outside sales person, parents, spouse or child of the employer and apprentices. Unfortunately, failure to pay overtime wage is one of the common wage violations often committed by employers.

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