An ex-employee and customer of a Pasadena skincare store filed suit Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging they were secretly recorded by the owners in violation of invasion of privacy laws.

Samantha Vasquez and Carlos Quiles allege in the suit that the proprietors of Lather secretly maintained a video and audio recording system to capture “all employee and customer interactions” in the shop without the knowledge or consent of customers or staff.

A message to Lather — which is closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — seeking comment was not immediately answered.

Vasquez, a former Lather sales associate and assistant store manager, and customer Quiles contend that Lather violated both the federal wiretap law and the state Invasion of Privacy Act, which makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of the parties. The statute applies to hidden video cameras as well as audio recording.

According to the complaint, Vasquez complained to the store manager three times last year and was told the audio system was not working. She alleges that she later discovered the system was actually in use, and after further complaints, was retaliated against and fired.

The lawsuit — which seeks unspecified damages — proposes class status on behalf of “all persons who were audio recorded in any Lather store in the United States last year.”

Other Lather stores are located in Long Beach, Hawaii, Atlanta and elsewhere.

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