A security guard working at Universal Music Publishing Group’s offices in LA has filed a lawsuit against the company, the security firm who employed her, the office building’s management and others due to accusations of labour violations and a ‘hostile’ working environment in which ‘pervasive drug use’ was commonplace.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by the security guard who remains anonymous, but describes herself as a 41 year old African American woman. She says she witnessed the use of drugs by Macy Gray, Jamie Foxx and his entourage, former NWA member MC Ren and T.I. (pictured) in the company’s Santa Monica building.
According to Billboard, the claimant has said that UMPG’s headquarters were “infiltrated with pervasive drug use where you could smell marijuana seeping from various offices and openly used in common areas, and lounges”, and the lawsuit suggests that “artists and high-profile celebrities began visiting the premises with drugs in hand and oftentimes offering drugs to Plaintiff, which she refused.”
She’s complained about a specific incident when she claims to have smelt cannabis drifting from the door of a UMPG recording studio. She says that after inquiring about the situation to a company manager, they replied: “It’s Adam Levine. You know from Maroon 5 … He can do whatever he wants … If he wants to come to the lobby and do a line of cocaine on the floor, it’s OK.” According to the complainant, UMPG would give her a “heads up” of when to expect “blazers” on the premises.
The lawsuit describes an intimidating experience when UMPG suggested that she be on high alert for when rapper YG arrived, due to the assumed possibility of firearms being present. On January 7th, T.I. visited the building for a recording session with Future. After the security guard requested to T.I.’s bodyguard that they move their vehicles which were not parked in the designated area, the body guard allegedly replied “I gotta be able to get this boy outta here if a shootout or something goes down”.
The security guard has claimed that during her employment, she was the subject to racial slurs from recording artists and Billboard have reported that she feels the workplace was ‘sexually charged’. The lawsuit states that “UMPG employees were complaining about finding bras hanging in the studio and people being found passed out in the showers after partying and drug use… Plaintiff found condoms plastered in the men’s bathroom while on patrol. She began witnessing UMPG employees engaged in intimate touching and grinding, involving buttocks and genitalia.”
The security guard is requesting lost and future earnings, medical bills and damages. The lawsuit alleges discrimination, retaliation, unsafe work conditions, harassment and infliction of emotional distress. In response to the allegations, a Universal Music spokesman has stated: “While we cannot comment on the allegations between the plaintiff and her employer, we can say that the allegations as they relate to Universal Music Group are absurd.”