Orange County Employment Attorney: Wrongful termination lawsuits against Los Angeles celebrities are a hot topic. Erlinda T. Elemen, worked as a nanny for Sharon Stone, former model and actress, from 2006 to early 2011. Elemen claimed to have been fired from her position after Elemen refused to return overtime pay that Stone had given her. Elemen also allegedly faced numerous insults and derogatory remarks about her Filipino background before her dismissal.
Stone had attempted to toss the lawsuit in an early stage of litigation but a California judge ruled Elemen had adequate enough claims to build a case against Stone. Stone will face claims of harassment, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, retaliation and failure to prevent harassment.
Judge Mary Strobel stated that Elemen “sufficiently alleged severe and pervasive harassment” due to the fact that Stone’s harassment of Elemen happened over a significant length of time and was not limited to a single isolated event.
The lawsuit claims that, from August 2010 until February 2011, Stone had continually made offensive remarks about Elemen’s Filipino background in addition to offensive remarks about her religion, religious traditions, and once refused to allow her to read the Bible while in the household. According to the complaint, Elemen was also ordered to refrain from talking in front of Stone’s children so that they, according to Stone, would not “talk like you.”
Stone’s lawyer, Daniel R. Gutenplan, said at a hearing on the suit that Elemen’s harassment claims were “overgeneralized” and did not meet the “pleading standard.”
Although Judge Strobel found that Elemen properly alleged her claims of wrongful termination, she dismissed Elemen’s claim relating to Stone’s demand for her to repay the overtime wages she had previously earned, as Judge Strobel saw no injury under that statute.
The damages and costs sought in Elemen’s lawsuit are currently unspecified. The trial is set for July 30.
This case does not mark the first legal battle with an ex-employee for Stone. Angelica Castillo, a former maid at the actress’s home, sued Stone for wrongful termination in a California state court after she was allegedly dismissed after receiving back injury while carrying the actress’s groceries.