Brandy forced to pay $40,000 in lawsuit with former housekeeper

Brandy has entered into a settlement with his former housekeeper, who earlier this year filed a lawsuit alleging several violations of the Employment Act.

According to Los Angeles Times60-year-old Maria Elizabeth Castaneda — also known as Elizabeth Juarez — filed a civil complaint against Brandy following her termination after nearly 20 years of service.

Castaneda had been responsible for the singer’s cooking, cleaning and laundry from September 2002 until February 25 this year, when she was allegedly fired. In addition to claiming she was let go because of her age, Castaneda’s lawsuit also accused Brandy of violating a number of California state employment laws, including rules related to state-mandated breaks, meal periods, overtime.

The former employee, who reported $125 a day, initially asked for $250,000 in compensatory damages, an additional $250,000 in general damages, $97,500 in consequential damages and more than $54,000 in attorneys’ fees.

While Brandy’s attorney argued that age discrimination rules did not apply to their client because she employs fewer than five people, they also initially told the courts that Castaneda resigned voluntarily.

According to a new claim filed by Kevin A. Lipeles and Thomas H. Schelly of the Lipeles Law Firm – who represented Marie Elizabeth Castaneda in this case – the two women have settled the claim for $40,000.

Lipeles and Schelly are now seeking fees somewhere between the amounts of $39,194.46 and $87,445.80, suggesting in their new motion that Brandy agreed to cover Castaneda’s legal fees as part of the settlement. The final sum will depend on the method the court chooses to determine what the lawyers owe.

A hearing is scheduled for December 8.

This is not the first personal or professional challenge Brandy has faced this year. In March, ABC announced that it wouldn’t order a second season her new TV show Queens.

The female-driven Hip Hop drama had initially done well with viewers, thanks in part to the cast being led by Brandy, Eve and Naturi Naughton. But before its first season ended, Queens hit a few setbacks.

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Eve became pregnant with her son and had to leave the show, which also faced stiff competition from shows on other networks on Tuesday. Despite a solid finale with over a million viewers in February, the show was not picked up for an encore.

In the meantime Brandy was rushed to the hospital last month after allegedly experiencing a seizure. A few minutes after the news of her hospitalization, she took to social media to reassure her fans that she was okay.

“To my beloved family, friends and stars thank you for sending love and light my way,” she wrote. “I am following doctors orders and getting the rest I need due to dehydration and low nutrition. Thank you for your prayers and support. Thank you all, see you soon.”

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