Singer/actress Brandy Norwood has settled an age discrimination lawsuit brought by her ex-housekeeper, agreeing to pay the “independent contractor” a little less than $40,000, according to reports.
Now the former housekeeper’s lawyers are seeking about $90,000 in attorney fees.
Court filings show that “Maria Elizabeth Castaneda” sued Brady for more $250,000 in March, alleging the singer discriminated against the 60-year-old because of her age. Castaneda has since been revealed by her true name, Elizabeth Juarez, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Inside the Suit
Documents allege that Brandy fired housekeeper Juarez from working at her Calabasas mansion because the singer wanted a younger replacement. Juarez made $125 a day, from September 2002 until she allegedly was fired on Feb. 25, 2022.
For nearly 20 years, Juarez cooked, cleaned, and did laundry for Brandy and allegedly had followed strict rules regarding breaks.
“[Castaneda was] not permitted to take an uninterrupted 10-minute rest break in the morning and an uninterrupted 10-minute rest break in the afternoon, nor was [Castaneda] permitted to take an uninterrupted 30-minute meal rest break,” Castaneda’s representatives, Kevin A. Lipeles and Thomas H. Schelly of the Lipeles Law Firm in El Segundo, said
The “Moesha” star has denied allegations and misconduct, with her lawyers arguing that Brandy, 43, was not liable for age discrimination because she did not regularly employ five people.
According to California age discrimination laws, which fall under California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), age protections apply to smaller employers with businesses required to have at least five employees.
To prove that age discrimination occurred, Castaneda would have to demonstrate three key details: She is 40 or older; Brandy’s termination harmed her; Proof Brandy fired her because of her age.
Brandy’s lawyers said Castaneda voluntarily quit, and Brandy claimed she was never an employee but an independent contractor.
Housekeeper’s Lawyers Want Money
After six months of filing the lawsuit, Castaneda’s legal team reached a settlement of $39,194.46, but her lawyers are seeking an additional $87,445.89 to pay for legal fees.
“[Castaneda’s] counsel only seeks a fair recovery for the time, risk, and effort spent in representing its client and now seeks an award of attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $87,445.89,” the filing read, as reported by Radar.
The ex-housekeeper’s lawyers’ motion continued, “[Castaneda’s] counsel is not demanding 100% of the fees it incurred in this lawsuit; only those fees that directly pertained to attorney and paralegal work and only those fees that pertained to the matter upon which judgment was entered. Plaintiff’s counsel deleted any fees incurred performing administrative or clerical tasks.”
A hearing regarding the fees is set for Dec. 8.