The lawsuit seeks class-action standing for actors, costumers, make-up artists and different individuals who labored at HellsGate and Statesville Haunted Jail, which was open throughout Halloween seasons in Crest Hill earlier than its final season in 2021.
“Defendants function profitable haunted homes on the backs of tons of of indispensable staff, whom defendants pay far beneath minimal wage,” states the lawsuit filed final week in Will County Circuit Court docket.
The lawsuit identifies just one plaintiff, Amanda Zabinski, who it says labored for 15 years for the operators of the haunted home till being terminated final yr.
In keeping with the lawsuit, Zabinski made $480, or the equal of $6.95 an hour, when working seven shifts starting from 8.5 to 11 hours lengthy in her final weeks at HellsGate in October.
John LaFlamboy Jr., recognized within the lawsuit because the proprietor of the haunted home operations, stated Wednesday that he had not seen the lawsuit and had not beforehand heard the allegations. He denied that staff are paid beneath minimal wage.
“We’re very aggressive about that,” LaFlamboy stated. “Most of our individuals are above minimal wage.”
He additionally denied an allegation within the go well with that staff work till 4 a.m.
LaFlamboy stated Zabinski was not an worker however an impartial contractor, who labored with the corporate a complete of eight days during the last three years.
“She’s an impartial contractor who’s attempting to sue us like she was an worker,” he stated.
The lawsuit alleges that Zabinski and different staff had been required to report back to work at 4 p.m. earlier than the haunted homes opened and would proceed working till as late as 4 a.m. the subsequent day.
Additionally they had been assigned particular duties and supplied with work supplies, in response to the lawsuit.
“Ms. Zabinsky might need been known as an impartial contractor, however in actuality she was an worker of the haunted home companies,” stated lawyer Patrick Cowlin, who represents Zabinsky.
Cowlin stated he believes there have been tons of of staff working in related situations as Zabinsky.
In keeping with the lawsuit, the haunted home operates with 200 staff.
The lawsuit is in search of again pay and damages for Zabinsky and different staff whether it is given class-action standing.
The go well with additionally alleges that staff will not be paid till the tip of the Halloween season, that means they wait weeks to receives a commission.
LaFlamboy stated the corporate does “have a program right here had been everybody will get paid on the finish of the season. And, we now have a program the place they’ll put in a request and receives a commission early.”