california 42478 640

Contractor Sues Kanye West for Dangerous Working Conditions

28 Sep, 2023 Liz Carey

california 42478 640
                               

Malibu, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A construction contractor is suing rapper Kanye West over alleged dangerous working conditions and unpaid wages.

Musician and contractor Tony Saxon filed suit against West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, on Sept. 6 alleging that West created dangerous working conditions through his constantly changing demands, as well as nonpayment, disability discrimination, retaliation and a number of other labor code violations.

"Not so fun times… living in and leading the entire project on turning Ye’s… house into an ‘open concept BUT (emphasis Saxon’s) off the grid’ which was an absolutely ridiculous oxymoron,” Saxon wrote in an Instagram post. “He wanted to have a bomb shelter/bunker in the basement to hide from ‘Clinton’s & Kardashians’ all while living on a PUBLIC beach and have his house have NO ELECTRICITY NO WINDOWS NO PLUMBING and NO STAIRS!!! Also Messed my neck and back up for life and he knows it.”

Saxon said in his post that West worked for 18-hour days leading a hand-picked crew to renovate the house at break neck speeds.

“I welcomed fun ideas and an orthodox project but HIS RIDICULOUS ideas and changing demands - all while I had to once again live in a house with NO WINDOWS on a PUBLIC BEACH - with drones flying over me, he also FIRED ALL HIS SECURITY FOR THE HOUSE… but this became DANGEROUS AS HELL as I had a constant onslaught of Drones/live streamers/and paparazzi showing up at all hours of the day.”

In his suit, Saxon said that he had worked with West for months trying to complete renovations to the Malibu mansion, despite ever-changing plans. In November 2021, Saxon said, West fired him abruptly after he refused to agree to changes West wanted that Saxon felt were too dangerous.

According to the suit, West hired Saxon in September 2021 to oversee work on the $57 million Malibu mansion as project manager. Originally, Saxon was hired to paint the interior walls of the mansion with concrete, he said. But when he arrived, he took over as project manager. In that role, he oversaw all construction and demolition work, hired contractors and coordinated worker at the house, as well as provided around-the-clock security, court documents said. For all that work, Saxon was paid $20,000 per week.

Saxon said West would change his mind forcing Saxon to have to use his salary to pay for construction expenses, and that plans for the house would change “on a whim.” At one point, he said, the house was to be open concept, have ramps and slides, and a bomb shelter in the basement, as well as have a “privatized Wi-Fi connection on an alternative source of energy.”

In October, Saxon said, he told West that he was feeling stress and anxiety over the project – allegedly working 16-hour days and sleeping in “makeshift conditions” throughout the renovation project – and that he was tired of not having access to a proper bed and sleeping next to open insulation. West was unresponsive, Saxon said. Later, the working conditions caused Saxon to injure his neck and back. However, West continued to expect Saxon to work, the lawsuit said.

Days later, Saxon said, West told Saxon to remove all of the windows and electrical wiring in the building and replace them with large generators inside the home. While Saxon said he tried to explain to West that doing so would create a fire hazard, West instead said if Saxon didn’t do it, he would be considered “an enemy.” When Saxon refused, West fired him on the spot.

“He goes, ‘If you don’t do what I asked you to do, you’re a Clinton. You’re a Kardashian. You’re an enemy and I’m not going to be a friend anymore. I’m not going to provide you with an opportunity anymore. You’re only going to see me on TV,’” Saxon told Rolling Stone. “I said to him, ‘I don’t watch TV’ and he said, ‘Get the f*&^ out.’ And that was it.”

Saxon is seeking more than $1 million in unpaid wages and damages on the grounds of disability, discrimination, retaliation and labor violations.

"You can only pay people so much to do crazy work," Saxon said in an interview with Nightline. "I said you cannot have carbon monoxide running into a building, exhaust from generators — you're going to suffocate everyone."


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    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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