Lawsuit alleges Little India beauty salon chain exploits workers:
Ziba Chief Executive Sumita Batra, 39, and her staff have styled models for Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone magazines and TV shows "America's Next Top Model" and "Extreme Makeover."
But now Batra and her family partners are accused of building their business by exploiting workers, many of them female immigrants. Former Ziba workers filed a class action lawsuit last week alleging the owners of the 11-store salon chain failed to give them the minimum wage, overtime compensation and meal and rest breaks.
The plaintiffs include Payal Modi of India and Bishnu Shahani from Nepal, who say they were paid as little as $4 an hour at the salon, denied rest breaks and required to deliver hours of free henna tattooing services at parties.
The women, who say they were fired in January for challenging the salon's labor contracts, have since opened their own salon in Culver City.
"A lot of people don't read or speak English. They don't know California law," said Modi, who immigrated to Los Angeles in 2001. "So we have to fight for them."
Source: LA Times