There’s good news for Tarek and Christina El Moussa, who are facing a hefty federal lawsuit. They have until June 26 to answer claims that an ex-employee of theirs made about unpaid wages and commissions.
Jonathan Schmier says he approached the El Moussas’ real estate company Next Level Property Investments back in January 2016 and was told that he would be paid a commission of $5,000 each for finding wholesale homes for the Flip or Flop duo to renovate on their HGTV series. He says he officially started work in March, but stopped in October when he was told that he was “never an employee” of the company.
At the time Schmier was under the impression he was finding homes for the El Moussas, he said he found five and that they never paid him the $25,000 he was owed in commission. Under California minimum wage law, he’s suing for an addition $12,800 he says he’s entitled to in back wages.
When he filed the federal lawsuit last month, Schmier was flat broke — he had negative $124 in his bank account according to Radar Online.
According to court papers, Schmier tried to settle the issue by going to Next Level Property Investments’ operating manager, Pete De Best, as well as straight to the El Moussas, but he claims they “have blocked [his] e-mail address and face book [sic] pages and phone numbers in an attempt to avoid paying.”
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Now, the El Moussas have their chance to respond to Schmier’s claims before the lawsuit moves forward. This is just the latest in a long string of scandals to hit HGTV stars, including several lawsuits.