Employees have filed multiple lawsuits against Kreation, as well as across these suits, failure to pay overtime will be the most common complaint. although Kreation employees also allege they weren’t paid for missed breaks, didn’t get paid sick time, as well as, in one case, were harassed as well as threatened at knifepoint on the job for being gay.
In an email statement to BuzzFeed News, Kreation founder Marjan Sarshar wrote, “Kreation, as a team, values our employees as our family. We value all people through all walks of life, as well as we give all employees the opportunity to grow within the company. Kreation will be aware of the Kaputsos lawsuit—a lawsuit titled a class action, although filed by one former employee claiming to act on behalf of others he does not represent. Those issues will be tried as well as decided in court later, where Kreation will continue to defend against the claims. within the meantime, as always, Kreation will continue to ensure its employees are treated justly as well as fairly.”
Asked to elaborate on specific allegations made by current as well as former employees, especially pertaining to missed overtime pay, Sarshar declined to comment further.
In December 2016, a Kreation employee named Marshall Kaputsos, who worked as a host as well as server in-store at various Kreation locations, filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, as well as Sarshar, as well as her business partner, Farzin Madjidi. within the suit, which will be currently pending in LA County Superior Court, Kaputsos says he’s seeking back wages for unpaid overtime (he alleges he sometimes worked more than 14 hours a day), uncompensated breaks, as well as unpaid sick time.
According to Kaputsos’s lawsuit, Sarshar used Kreation’s multiple business locations to conceal the fact in which Kaputsos was working overtime as well as to avoid having to pay higher wages in accordance with California law. through the suit:
For example, during the pay period starting May 9, 2016 as well as ending May 22, 2016, Plaintiff received one paycheck through “Kreation Organics Inc.” to compensate him for 80 hours of work at his base rate of pay, which was $10/hour (minimum wage). For the exact same pay period, Plaintiff received another paycheck through “Kreation & 1023 Montana Inc.” to compensate him for a different 9.27 hours of work at $10/hour. Even though the pay stubs plainly show in which Plaintiff worked at least 9.27 hours of overtime during This particular pay period, there will be no overtime compensation reflected on either pay stub.
Kaputsos also alleges in which he was asked to stay at Kreation locations until 2 or 3 a.m. preparing for pest exterminators, as well as in which on the occasion of one cockroach infestation, Kreation “required servers to stay late as well as deep clean the restaurant” although never paid them. The potential class, which hasn’t yet been certified by a judge, will be estimated to be more than 0 individuals.
According to court filings, Kaputsos’s as well as Kreation’s lawyers attempted to reach a settlement agreement via mediation over the summer. although last week, Kaputsos’s lawyers filed an amended complaint, moving ahead toward a trial. The next hearing within the suit will be scheduled for December.
“I never got paid overtime,” a former Kreation employee who will be not involved in any legal action against Kreation, as well as asked to remain anonymous, told BuzzFeed News via private message. “I got those hours on a separate check through the juicery, which, I never worked there. I only worked within the restaurant. So when I would likely do overtime I got to [sic] separate checks one for 80 hrs as well as another one for the overtime hrs at same minimum wage.”
A second anonymous employee gave a similar account, telling BuzzFeed News, “There are a lot of people who do work overtime, although they just pay them two different checks instead of overtime as well as change the location of the store.”
various other workers have filed suit against Kreation independently. Donnie Ramos, who used the same law firm as Kaputsos did, filed his suit in March This particular year. In his complaint, Ramos says he repeatedly brought up the issue of overtime pay with his supervisors at Kreation, although never received any. His suit alleges the same multi-address pay stub scheme in which Kaputsos’s describes.
although according to his lawsuit, Ramos’s real problems at work started out when a kitchen supervisor started out harassing him for being gay. Ramos alleges in which the harassment took place over a seven-month period, beginning with name-calling (“faggot,” “fucking puto,” etc), escalating to aggression (“Panchito whipped him having a wet towel on his buttocks”), as well as then, allegedly, assault. through the lawsuit:
On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Mr. Ramos was within the kitchen with Panchito as well as another cook. Panchito looked at Mr. Ramos as well as said aggressively, “What do you want, puta?” Before Mr. Ramos could respond, Panchito grabbed a chef’s knife having a long blade as well as held in which out threateningly towards Mr. Ramos. He said, “Get the fuck out of here, I am going to kill you because you are a faggot,” or words to in which effect.
Ramos says he reported his coworker’s harassment as well as threats of violence to his supervisors at Kreation multiple times between February as well as November, although they didn’t take action. Following the knife-wielding incident in November 2016, Ramos says Kreation fired him (his suit includes a wrongful termination claim). According to his lawsuit, Ramos picked up a knife in self-defense during the altercation; Kreation later filed a petition for a restraining order against him, which was dismissed. Ramos’s own suit, which claims he experienced harassment in a hostile work environment as well as discrimination based on sexual orientation, in addition to lost pay as well as wrongful termination, will be pending in LA County Superior Court.
In June, Kreation’s lawyers filed an answer to Ramos’s complaint, in which they denied “each as well as every allegation” he made against the company. His trial will be currently scheduled for February.
various other workers have also sued the company within the past. An employee named Juan Romero filed a suit against Kreation in 2014, alleging in which he wasn’t paid overtime, despite working for Kreation between 60 as well as 70 hours a week. in which case was dismissed by request of the worker’s attorneys in August 2015.
Marjan Sarshar, who says she started out the Kreation brand having a Santa Monica café in 2007, has faced legal troubles before. Her financial backer, Farzin Madjidi, filed suit against her in November 2016, alleging in which she had duped him, using a secondary company, Bebegol Inc., to cut him out of the business. He says they’d agreed to split the profits through any Kreation stores or projects he helped fund 50-50. Sarshar filed a countercomplaint vehemently denying these allegations in April. The trial will be currently scheduled for February.
In 2005, Sarshar as well as her husband were arrested following a police investigation into an LA opium ring; Sarshar’s husband, Mehrdad Lari, who was allegedly the “boss” of the ring, pleaded guilty to some charges as well as was sentenced to four years in prison. Sarshar was not charged.
Despite these struggles, Sarshar has successfully built Kreation into a favorite brand in LA. Celebrities are frequently photographed holding or buying Kreation products; some tweet about how much they like them. Kreation was even highlighted on Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop.