Four employees of a late real estate agent whose death was recognized in a 2020 video tribute by Mayor Eric Garcetti are suing the deceased’s estate, with some claiming they worked in a sexually charged atmosphere where their employer brought prostitutes to the workplace have brought.
Gregory Hartman, Mousa Kouy-Ghadosh, Sara Jadid Pilevarian and Mehrangiz Rodef Shalom filed a lawsuit against the estate of Yoav Botach and several of his companies on Wednesday and filed unspecified claims for damages.
The allegations include wrongful termination, sexual harassment, willful infliction of emotional stress, and failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Shalom’s lawsuits mainly focus on alleged violations of state labor law, including refusal to pay wages for all hours worked and compensation for missed meal breaks. A lawyer for the Botach estate did not immediately reply to one
Request for comments.
Botach died in May 2020 at the age of 87.
“Yoav Botach was an angel in the city of angels,” said Garcetti in a video for a tribute to Botach after the businessman’s death. “One of the most inspiring souls I’ve ever met and my heart aches that he’s gone now.”
According to the lawsuit, Botach was not friendly to the four plaintiffs.
“This case arises from the defendants’ sexually hostile work environment, their unlawful dismissal from plaintiffs, and their willful disregard of California labor laws,” the lawsuit said.
All plaintiffs were hired as accountants, with the exception of Pilevarian, who worked as a housekeeper, the lawsuit states. The four were hired in 2016-17.
Hartman was instructed to notify Botach when female tenants of his properties came to his apartment to pay their rent so that he could subject them to sexual offers and inappropriate conversations, the lawsuit said. When female tenants avoided Botach, he became angry with Hartman for not being the businessman’s mediator for his attempted sexual exploits, according to the lawsuit.
Hartman and Kouy-Ghadosh had to coordinate meetings between Botach and prostitutes, who in turn asked Hartman for sex, the lawsuit said. Botach often stroked the prostitutes in front of the staff, including Kouy-
Ghadosh, who saw Botach pay about $ 200 to get his nails done “with benefits,” according to the lawsuit.
Pilevarian was once asked to accompany an unknown woman into Botach’s bedroom, where she overheard him telling her how much he would pay her for her “services,” the lawsuit says.
Hartman and Kouy-Ghadosh complained about Botach’s allegedly inappropriate sexual behavior, but Botach refused to let himself be directed and told Kouy-Ghadosh to “mind his own business” according to the lawsuit.
Botach threw items at staff when he was angry and once left Pilevarian injured after being hit by a cell phone, the suit claims.
Once, when Pilevarian developed an allergic rash with a swollen face and restricted breathing, Botach told other plaintiffs not to help her and did not seem to care whether she lived or died, the lawsuit says.
“This was an integral part of Botach’s apparent disregard for women and openly misogynistic attitudes,” the lawsuit said.
On December 20, 2017, Botach’s grandson Mendy Botach falsely accused Hartman of colluding with another family member of the businessman to take money from him, according to the lawsuit. When Mendy Botach approached Hartman
and made him fear for his safety, Hartman took out his phone to call the police, the lawsuit says.
Mendy Botach put his hands on Hartman and asked that he turn off his phone, and the elder Botach told the plaintiff to go, the lawsuit says.