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Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Filed Against Kobe Bryant by Orange County Housekeeper

September 18, 2009

In Orange County Superior Court yesterday, Judge Kirk Nakamura ruled that Maria Jimenez, former full-time housekeeper for California NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa, can continue pursuing a wrongful termination claim against the famous couple--but not sue for emotional distress.

Jimenez, who worked full-time as a housekeeper at Bryant's Newport Coast home filed the suit in March of this year, claiming wrongful termination. She alleged that while employed by the Bryants from September 2007 to March 2008, she endured harassment, humiliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In the widely publicized suit, Jimenez contended that she was driven to quit after being reprimanded by Vanessa for washing an expensive blouse, and humiliated by being forced to dig through a bag of dog excrement to find the blouse receipt. Jimenez also claimed an invasion of privacy, from being video taped on the home surveillance cameras, and complained for not being provided with health insurance or overtime compensation.

Judge Nakamura pared down Jimenez's lawsuit in court yesterday, throwing out her claims of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. According to the Orange County Register, the judge ruled that suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress is 'superfluous' as Jimenez already seeks emotional distress damages under the wrongful termination argument. Nakamura also ruled that the Bryants' did not "violate any basic duty imposed by law on all employers," and that Jimenez cannot sue for invasion of privacy because she already had knowledge of the extensive surveillance cameras within the house throughout her employment.

Nakamura also ruled that Bryant and his wife can pursue their countersuit against Jimenez, for violating a confidentiality agreement by talking openly to the press about the celebrity couple. The trial date has been scheduled for April 12.

Judge in Kobe Bryant Case Throws out Part of Ex-maid's Suit, The Orange County Register, September 17, 2009

Judge: Maid's Suit Against Kobe Bryant Can Proceed, Associated Press, September 17, 2009

Judge Kirk Nakamura rulings, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange, September 17, 2009

Kobe Bryant's Attorneys Seek to Dismiss Maid's Lawsuit, Wave, August 22, 2009

Related Web Resources:

California Department of Industrial Relations

If you or someone you know in Orange County has been wrongfully terminated in the workplace, our experienced team of Anaheim-based Labor & Employment Attorneys can help find a solution for your recovery. Contact Howard Law PC today, for a free consultation at 1-800-872-5925.