Kanye West sued: Donda Academy directors dropped as defendants from lawsuit

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PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Lawsuit filed against Kanye West’s Donda Academy

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: The lawsuit claims students were exposed to unsafe conditions.

The directors of Ye's Donda Academy have been dropped as defendants in a lawsuit by two former Donda teachers who say they were wrongfully fired earlier this year after complaining about work conditions and alleged wage violations.

Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers are also suing the 46-year-old rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, as well as the school. The plaintiffs say in the Los Angeles Superior Court suit that they were the Simi Valley school's only Black female teachers and allege that their wages were illegally withheld and that they were wrongfully fired in March.

In court papers filed Monday with Judge Robert B. Broadbelt, the plaintiffs' attorneys requested dismissal of the part of the case against academy directors Allison Tidwell, Brianne Cambell and Chris Julian. The court papers do not give reasons for the plaintiffs' decisions.

Broadbelt also signed an order affirming an agreement between the parties to maintain the confidentiality of some documents and testimony, including those related to depositions.

On Jan. 4, Broadbelt is scheduled to rule on a motion by Ye's attorneys to remove him as a defendant. In the one cause of action against the rapper the former teachers allege a violation of the state Labor Code, maintaining that Ye "engaged in a pattern and practice" of providing the plaintiffs with inaccurate and untimely wage statements.


"The truth is, Ye has nothing to do with Donda's policies, practices and procedures relating to employee pay and wage statements," Ye's lawyers argue in their court papers. "Surely, plaintiffs know that. But as unfortunately is commonly the case for Ye, a famous artist and businessperson, plaintiffs have haphazardly tossed a meritless and barebones guilt-by- association theory into their complaint to garner press attention and the resulting settlement pressure that comes with it."

The Donda Academy is a private Christian school in which Ye is its CEO. Hailey and Byers allege that their paychecks were untimely or inaccurate throughout their employment.

Byers alleges in the suit brought April 6 that she never received her first check. Both plaintiffs maintain that their pay was often short by about $1,800 to $2,700 per pay period. The teachers say they complained to Donda, that they were terminated in violation of the Labor Code and that they were not immediately paid wages due them upon termination.

The plaintiffs also alleged that the academy does not have a proper disciplinary system, allowing some students to be subjected to severe bullying. The also maintain the school has no cleaning staff because Ye does not believe in cleaning products containing chemicals, leaving teachers to clean with acid water and microfiber cloths.

The plaintiffs were in the academy's parking lot when they arrived to work March 3 that they were being terminated, the suit states.