LA affordable housing firm sued for failing to pay worker overtime

Lawsuit against LA Family Housing was brought by former employee who alleges other “similarly aggrieved employees” went unpaid

LA Family Housing's building at 7843 Lankershim Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)
LA Family Housing's building at 7843 Lankershim Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

One of Los Angeles’ most active affordable housing developers has been hit with a lawsuit alleging it failed to pay worker overtime and committed other California labor code violations.

The suit against Los Angeles Family Housing accuses the nonprofit of failing to pay legally required overtime or keep accurate hourly records of timesheets for employees. The suit was brought by a former employee, Blaike Wellington, who was a “resident advocate.” As of January, Wellington no longer worked for the organization.

Wellington is the only named plaintiff in the suit, though she alleges that other employees were also mistreated. In addition to the overtime pay allegation, Wellington says in the lawsuit that she “and similarly aggrieved employees were alone at the front desk without any assistance and were not able to leave their work stations for meals or rest breaks” as the labor code requires.

The suit seeks back wages, interest, applicable state penalties and legal costs.

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Representatives for LA Family Housing could not immediately be reached for comment. Wellington’s attorneys, Ronald Zambrano and Melineh Kasbarian, also did not respond to requests for comment.

Among its projects, LA Family Housing is planning to build a 54-unit affordable development in the North Hills neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. It has also teamed up with the Coalition for Responsible Community Development on the construction of a 32-unit, 100 percent affordable complex in Florence specifically for homeless individuals and family members.

According to its website, LA Family Housing operated more than 400 housing units in L.A. in 2018, moved more than 2,200 people into permanent housing and helped nearly 11,000 people transition out of homelessness and poverty.