Melissa Joan Hart might have played a teenage witch on television, but a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles is accusing the actress and her Sweetharts candy company of real-life devilry. E! Online reported on September 30, 2011, that former store manager Shana Kharineh is alleging wrongful termination, discrimination based on race, retaliation against employee complaining of discrimination, failure to pay wages owed, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to provide meal periods, failure to provide rest periods, failure to pay minimum wage and unlawful business practices.
Kharineh claims her bosses gave her a special dress code because she was African-American, making her wear a different color to the standard uniform of black because “black on black did not look appropriate.” In addition to being wrongfully dismissed in August, Kharineh also claims she was forced to work 60-hour weeks without breaks or overtime payments.
A representative for Hart told E! Online, “While the shop was her vision, Melissa does not currently function in a day-to-day operational capacity, and has never met Shana Kharineh. Sweetharts Sweets is an equal opportunity employer, as is Melissa Joan Hart. Neither Sweetharts Sweets nor Melissa engages in or condones any form of discrimination whatsoever. There is no basis whatsoever to these vicious allegations.”
Do you think the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” star should be held liable in this employment discrimination case? Or should her non-involvement in day-to-day operations free her from blame? Our Los Angeles employment lawyer wants to hear your thoughts. Share your comments below, and if you have questions about how to prove discrimination, contact our Los Angeles employment attorney today to set up a consultation.