The “Casino” actress, Sharon Stone, is now facing employment discrimination complaints and wrongful termination filed by the former nanny of her three children.
Allegedly, the actress made disparaging remarks about her nanny, Erlinda T. Elemen’s race and religious belief and later on fired Elemen, accusing the latter of stealing her rightfully obtained overtime pay.
In her statement, Elemen said the she began working for Stone in 2006 until she was promoted as the head nanny of the actress’ three children in 2008.
During her employment under Stone, Elemen claims that Stone often mock her Filipino background, telling her not to speak with Stone’s children because she didn’t want her children to speak like the way her nanny speaks. Eleman further said that Stone often make scornful comments about Filipino foods, and disparaging statements that blatantly equated being Filipino with being stupid.
Oftentimes, Stone criticized Elemen for frequently attending church and there was one time that the actress prevented her from reading bible inside her room in Stone’s residence. In February, 2011, the actress eventually fired Elemens for refusing to return the overtime payment that the nanny had earned while traveling with Stone’s children in several occasions.
Elemen finally decided to file a complaint after Stone fired her for allegedly stealing her overtime pay. Elemen states that Stone told her that it is illegal for the nanny to receive the overtime pay.
In her lawsuit, Elemen is seeking for unspecified damages for employment harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination she suffered under Stone’s employment.
Harassment, underpayment and having no overtime pay and benefits are common problems for employees in household occupations.
According to Elemen’s employment lawyer, Solomon Gresen, if a celebrity underpays a household help, then it only points out that there are thousands of other people who do the same harassment and misconduct with their household employees. Gresen also said that he and Elemen hope that this case will benefit other household employees and will make some changes in their lives.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles employment lawyers who are keeping an eye on the case agreed with Elemen and her lawyer when they said that household employees have only a little power to avoid such employment harassment. That is indeed true, which is why such class of employees should be given more comprehensive protection by both state and federal government.