Lawsuit Alleges UMG Pot Smoking
A former security guard, working at the Universal Music Group headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., is suing the company for wrongful termination among other allegations – and a lot of it has to do with pot.
There is lots and lots of pot smoking at UMG, according to the lawsuit, and the unnamed plaintiff had to put up with it during her 2010-’012 stint at the company.
“You could smell marijuana seeping from various offices, and openly used in common areas, and lounges,” the lawsuit claims. Company employees even complained to the security guard that “various studio equipment was becoming stained and affected by the marijuana smoking.”
Artists would visit with doobies in hand and would offer then to the guard, her lawsuit alleges. She “became torn between her professional integrity and losing her job.”
“Jane Doe” was an employee of Universal Protection Services, where she was trained after a background check and got a state license, according to the lawsuit. In 2010, she was assigned to the offices of Universal Music Publishing Group, where she received daily instructions concerning visitors and her work duties, the lawsuit says.
Doe claims she was torn between her professional duties and tolerating the illegal activities she witnessed, such as seeing UMPG executives smoking marijuana in their cars, employees partying and doing drugs, and guests found in the studio bathroom unconscious in the shower.
Doe, who is identified as a 41-year-old African American, was also allegedly subjected to racial slurs including when an artist used the N-word in a conversation with her, and when a tenant referred to her as the HNIC (“Head N-gger in Charge”).
The lawsuit mentions artists who are allegedly 420 friendly, such as Macy Gray, Jamie Foxx and Adam Levine, who apparently gets carte blanche treatment when he visits UMG.
When she took her concerns to the security company, her superiors refused to address the drug use with UMPG, according to the lawsuit. She said in early January a UPS executive, after saying he was “aware of her written complaints,” suspended her and she remains unemployed.
The lawsuit seeks loss of earnings, loss of future earnings, civil penalties and attorneys fees, among other requests.
A representative for UMG reportedly called the allegations “absurd.”