CALIFORNIA – The well-known bakery Sweet Lady Jane, which abruptly closed its doors late last year, is currently in the midst of a class action lawsuit for illegal labor practices filed by former employees who claim wage theft.
Blanca Juarez, a former employee who filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and others, alleges that Sweet Lady Jane did not adequately compensate for overtime hours, failed to provide meal and rest breaks, violated minimum wage laws in certain instances, and did not maintain complete and accurate payroll records.
Juarez worked as an hourly employee at the bakery during October and November 2022, as stated in the lawsuit filed in June 2023, several months before the beloved local bakery’s sudden closure.
In a statement released on its website to announce the closure on December 31, Sweet Lady Jane explained, “Sales are not sufficient to sustain our operations in the state of California, preventing us from meeting our lease obligations and properly compensating our valued employees without directly passing those costs on to you.”
Founded in 1988 on Melrose Avenue, Sweet Lady Jane captured Hollywood’s heart, becoming one of the favored bakeries. Over the years, it expanded with five additional locations, all of which have now closed. Before its closure, the bakery had plans to open two new branches this year.
As initially reported by the Los Angeles Times, Sweet Lady Jane has sought state alternatives to bankruptcy amid these labor controversies.