Former valets who worked at the secretive and elite Bohemian Grove club in California have filed a lawsuit alleging unfair labor practices. The workers claim they were subjected to 16-hour workdays without breaks and were not paid overtime or minimum wages.
The lawsuit accuses the club of numerous labor law violations, including falsifying payroll records and instructing employees to work off-the-clock. The valets state that they were paid for only eight hours of work despite working long hours during the club’s summer camp. The lawsuit seeks class-action status and up to $1.5 million in damages for approximately 300 affected employees.
The Bohemian Grove wage theft lawsuit also highlights the extravagant lifestyles of club members, which contrasts sharply with the poor working conditions experienced by the workers. The valets claim they were expected to perform tasks beyond their job duties, such as hand-washing a billionaire member’s underwear. Despite promises to improve working conditions, the situation reportedly worsened over time. The suit also accuses Bohemian Grove treasurer, Bill Dawson, of personally instructing valets to falsify records and work off-the-clock.
The isolation of the camp and demanding environment is said to have amplified the poor working conditions experienced by the employees. The lawsuit reveals that the club has struggled to hire staff in recent years due to its failure to adapt to modern labor practices and offer better wages. The plaintiffs argue that the club’s secrecy, lack of internet and cell service, and pressure to meet the demands of wealthy members have contributed to the challenging work environment.
The club had previously faced similar allegations and paid $7 million in a settlement in 2016. However, the club denies the allegations in the current lawsuit, claiming that the workers were not directly employed by the club. The plaintiffs argue that the club should be held responsible as the camps are part of a joint venture under the club’s design.
Don’t suffer in silence from wage theft and other labor violations. If you’ve been mistreated by your employer, reach out to Labor Law Advocates for expert legal assistance. Our experienced team provides free and confidential support to help you fight for your rights.