A former Rogers & Cowan account coordinator has filed a class action lawsuit against the public relations firm, accusing it of consistently violating California's labor laws by, among other charges, requiring employees to "volunteer" to work for free.
In the 30-page lawsuit, filed Thursday by Paul T. Cullen of the Cullen Law Firm and obtained by TheWrap, former Rogers & Cowan employee Daniel Malakhov claims that he and other company staffers were required to work after their regular shifts were over "without any pay whatsoever."
Read the complete filing here
Malakhov worked at Rogers & Cowan's Pacific Design Center offices in West Hollywood. The suit doesn't specify when he worked there.
Malakhov said the company refused to pay overtime and didn't provide appropriate meal and rest periods. It also says their wage statements and paystubs were inaccurate and were made to "work in a business environment where they were routinely and uniformly subjected to unfair business practices."
Tom Tardio, Rogers & Cowan's CEO, was not available for comment Thursday.
The lawsuit says that Rogers & Cowan "may contend that any such tasks were done on a volunteer basis … failure to 'volunteer' to work for the defendants at such after-hours events would negatively affect their ability to advance their careers."
It's a class action suit, which means that lawyers believe many Rogers & Cowan employees and former employees were mistreated by the company. The suit estimates that more than 500 people are entitled to money from the PR firm.
The lawsuit asks for unpaid wages, penalties and other compensation.
Cullen told TheWrap that he expects to ask a jury to award the plaintiffs millions of dollars.
Rogers & Cowan is well known for representing clients in the entertainment industry.