A former manager at a Hollywood apartment complex is suing his ex-employer, alleging he was fired in retaliation for complaining that the landlord recruited addicts in rehabilitation and operated a sex trafficking operation.
Jarrie Grimmett’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed Thursday against Artiste Apartments on Cherokee Avenue. He alleges wrongful termination, retaliation, and race, sexual orientation discrimination and harassment and seeks unspecified damages.
A representative for the landlord, identified in the suit only as Lance Doe and not named as a defendant, could not be immediately reached.
Grimmett says he worked for about a month as a task force manager at an Artiste building on Cherokee Avenue before being fired in March 2019. His court papers allege he repeatedly reported and complained to his supervisor about “dangerous and illegal activities” at the property, including prostitution and drug sales.
The lawsuit alleges that the building owner knew that prostitution was taking place on the premises and not only allowed such illegal activity, but actively recruited addicts undergoing alcohol and drug rehabilitation and operated a sex trafficking operation from his rental properties, referring to the women he recruited as his “club members.”
Grimmett also complained often of unsafe and hazardous working conditions, including the use of old, defective equipment; a roof that was caving in the employee break room; and unsanitary working conditions, including rat infestations in his office, in storage areas and elsewhere, the suit alleges.
Instead of taking appropriate action to correct the alleged illegal activity and conditions, Grimmett’s supervisor laughed and said the building’s employees were weak and “were rats as well,” the complaint alleges.
Throughout his time working at Artiste Aartments, Grimmett’s boss regularly made discriminatory and harassing remarks about Artiste workers, callingcompany accountant a gay pejorative, a black employee “the fat black woman” and referring to another worker as “the dumb Asian bitch,” the suit alleges.
The alleged comments were offensive to the plaintiff, who is black and gay, according to his court papers.
Grimmett alleges that the boss also once punched him in the arm in front of two witnesses, and “appeared to consider his aggressive and violent conduct nothing more than horseplay.”
A week before Grimmett was fired, police found pounds of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs on the premises, the suit alleges. Grimmett urged his boss to evict the tenant who allegedly had the illegal drugs, but the supervisor refused and told the plaintiff that the tenant in question was a friend of another Artiste manager who regularly purchased drugs from that tenant in exchange for rent, the suit alleges.
Grimmett was fired about a week after making his final complaint and was told that he was “not a good fit” at Artiste, according to his suit, which says the final paycheck he was given was not signed by an authorized person and was thus invalid.
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