The Grammy-winning R&B singer HER is suing her record label MBK Entertainment, claiming her current contract violates California labor code laws.
In his costume, obtained by the explosionfiled in Los Angeles on Thursday June 16, HER, birth name Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, claimed that MBK, the label of her manager Jeff Robinson, violated California’s business and professions code with her contract, which she signed at 14— she is now 24.
As the outlet reported, the lawsuit alleges the singer lacked proper independent legal representation after signing with the label in 2011. Other points of contention include her manager bringing in her own legal team. without signing a conflict of interest and taking 5% of the singer’s offers without her accepting these fees.
Given the seven-year term of California’s labor code, the current agreement should have been voided and reviewed effective May 18, 2019. “Wilson’s seven years have passed,” the lawsuit said. “MBK’s attempts to thwart this important and fundamental California public policy must not be tolerated.”
“[The contract] materially limited Wilson’s employment rights,” the lawsuit continued. “As of May 19, 2011, MBK exclusively owns his services as a recording artist and exclusively owns the right to exploit his name and likeness for his recordings under the Agreement. Wilson has not been free to provide its recording services, except as permitted or directed by MBK.
To date, HER has only released one full album, In the back of my mind (2021), as well as two compilation albums consisting of material from previous EPs. The complaint does not state how MBK defines an album release. HER asks the court to officially recognize that his contract violates the labor code and that it cannot be executed.
This seven-year status is a hot topic in the music industry right now. While most workers in California are protected against personal services agreements lasting longer than seven years, there is an exception to this rule specifically for musicians. The previously introduced FAIR Act aims to end this exclusion and faces a vote this week.
Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)