Store Manager Sues Kat Von D and High Voltage Tattoo for Defying COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders and Subjecting Employees to Exposure and Retaliation

On January 18, 2022, Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai filed suit against the popular West Hollywood tattoo shop featured on LA Ink, High Voltage Tattoo (HVT), and its owner, Katherine Von Drachenberg (a.k.a. Kat Von D), for disability discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation on behalf of Plaintiff Stephanie Davidson. Ms. Davidson was one of HVT’s store managers from 2017 through 2020. Kat Von D, a COVID-denier, kept HVT open despite the emergency Stay-at-Home orders in place during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. When HVT was legally permitted to reopen, Defendants refused to comply with local and state health orders requiring COVID-19 precautions such as mask wearing and social distancing. Defendants dismissed Ms. Davidson’s disability of Type 1 diabetes, and her heightened risk for COVID-19. They adamantly refused to comply with any COVID-19 protections in open violation of state and local laws. Instead, when Ms. Davidson requested accommodations in the form of compliance with COVID-19 protocols, Defendants retaliated against her by firing her. To make matters worse, Defendants never paid Ms. Davidson a minimum wage or overtime wages, entitling her to back-pay.

Ms. Davidson filed this lawsuit to hold Kat Von D accountable for her unlawful behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney Dan Stormer said that “Kat Von D put profits and publicity over the health and safety of both her employees and customers. She intentionally and unlawfully ignored state laws and regulations created to protect both workers and the public.” Attorney Tanya Sukhija-Cohen added that “businesses cannot ignore the law and force their employees to choose between their health and their livelihood. That is what Defendants did here, and they must face the consequences of those actions.”

Read the full complaint here


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