Tracee Ellis Ross is demanding the lawsuit brought by her former employee be thrown out of court.
According to court documents obtained by Radar, the 49-year-old Black-ish star is denying all claims of wrongdoing in the case brought by Samantha Wilkins.
Ross is also demanding the suit be moved to private arbitration and out of the public eye.
“[Ross] has no liability for the purported damages suffered by [Wilkins]” the answer states. She argues any money Wilkins was owed has been paid in full.
She wants all claims dismissed and her ex-employee pay her attorney fees.
As we first reported, Wilkins sued Ross along with her entertainment company Joy Mill Entertainment.
In the suit, Wilkins said she started working for Ross on November 15, 2019. She ended her employment on July 12, 2021.
She started off being paid $25 per hour and was eligible for overtime and meal breaks. However, in December 2019, she claims Ross told her she was changing her classification to an exempt employee.
Wilkins was paid $70k a year. The decision meant she was no longer eligible for overtime. A couple of months later, Ross increased her employee’s salary to $100k.
The suit claims Ross misclassified Wilkins as an exempt employee to avoid properly paying her. In November 2020, the actress ended up correcting her decision and started paying her as non-exempt.
However, she is furious claiming she worked more than 40 hours per week but never was paid overtime. She claims Ross had her working 12+ hours a day and sometimes 7 days a week. The suit also accuses Ross of violating California Labor Codes.
She is suing for the alleged unpaid wages plus punitive damages against Ross — which could be a pretty penny.
The suit is ongoing. A judge has yet to make a decision on the matter.