Courtney Abrams announced a lawsuit alleging that models were misclassified as independent contractors.
November 10, 2021 (Los Angeles, California) – Courtney Abrams of Courtney Abrams, PC & Andrew H. Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP, announced today the filing of a lawsuit against Unruly Agency Limited Liability Company and its owners Tara Niknejad and Nicky Gathrite.
The lawsuit, Elizabeth Machabeli & Jane Doe v. Unruly Agency Limited Liability Company, Tara Niknejad, and Nicky Gathrite (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 21STCV41395), alleges that Unruly Agency, which represents scores of “models” who sell content on OnlyFans, and its owners Tara Niknejad and Nicky Gathrite, misclassified and exploited the company’s employees as independent contractors thereby stealing millions of dollars in unpaid wages from them.
The lawsuit further alleges that Unruly Agency fired Ms. Machabeli and Ms. Doe in retaliation for their complaints about not only the misclassification and wage deprivation but also Ms. Machabeli’s whistleblowing that Unruly Agency was engaged in a fraudulent scheme to prey upon and dupe the Fans of Unruly Agency’s “Models” into paying for a subscription on OnlyFans.com. According to the lawsuit, Unruly Agency, Tara Niknejad and Nicky Gathrite perpetrated this fraudulent scheme in two ways.
First, the lawsuit alleges, that Unruly Agency, Tara Niknejad and Nicky Gathrite falsely represent to the Fans that they are communicating directly and personally with the “Models” when, in fact, the Fans are not actually communicating with the Models at all; instead, the Fans are merely communicating with “Account Managers” and “Senior Account Managers” (employed by Defendants Unruly Agency, Niknejad and Gathrite) who pretend to be the Models.
Second, the lawsuit alleges, that once the Fans are “hooked” and “duped” into believing that they are communicating with and/or having a “relationship” with the Models who are sending them exclusive content, the Account Managers and Senior Account Managers employed by Defendants Unruly Agency, Niknejad and Gathrite – again, who are pretending to be the Models – are constantly pressured by Defendants to “upsell” the Fans into buying more content from the Models, specifically target certain high-paying Fans, and otherwise deceive Fans in any way necessary to make a profit.
Ms. Machabeli and Ms. Doe are represented by Courtney Abrams, PC and Helmer Friedman, LLP, California law firms that represent employees and other individuals seeking to vindicate their rights.
Speaking about the lawsuit, Courtney Abrams stated:
California law is clear: it is illegal for employers to fire, demote or otherwise retaliate against an employee because she complains about misclassification, wage theft, and issues of fraud.”
Other individuals have also accused Unruly Agency of multiple violations of the law. Jane Doe v. Unruly Agency LLC, 21STCV31028 (L.A. Sup. Court, filed August 23, 2021); Jane Doe v. Unruly Agency LLC, 21STCV26060 (L.A. Sup. Court, filed July 15, 2021).
Current and former employees of Unruly who wish to report their work experiences or learn more about the lawsuit, please contactCourtney Abrams (310-601-4448 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Andrew H. Friedman (at 310-396-7714 x. 106 or email@example.com). Similarly, if you are a witness or have information that would be relevant to the claims of Ms. Machabeli and Ms. Doe, please contact Mr. Friedman and/or Ms. Abrams.