LAWSUIT: Kanye West’s California private school had dangerous wiring, fire in eating area, no glass in windows

Kanye West’s private school awash in code violations, terminated plaintiff after Ye refused to pay for promised $60,000 in employee compensation, lawsuit says

One time, an electrical fire started near the student eating area where wire was laid atop the ground, exposed.”

— Attorney Ron Zambrano, writing in the lawsuit

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, July 7, 2023/ — Kanye West’s secretive Southern California private Christian school is coming under fire again with a new lawsuit filed Thursday against the Grammy Award-winning artist, who legally changed his name to Ye. The complaint alleges wrongful termination, breach of contract and violations of multiple education, health, safety and labor codes.

Plaintiff Isaiah Meadows says he was fired in retaliation for reporting numerous safety issues, among other things, including faulty electrical wiring in the school that once started a fire near where students eat. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court naming as defendants Yeezy Christian Academy, Donda Academy, Kanye West, and school directors Brianne Cambell, Allison Tidwell and Chris Julian, among others.

Yeezy Christian Academy was the first iteration of West’s school in Simi Valley, California, which eventually changed its name to Donda Academy and moved to nearby Chatsworth. Ye serves as the Chief Executive Officer, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer.

The latest complaint comes on the heels of several others recently filed against West and his Donda Academy alleging similar flagrant violations of labor law and educational guidelines, retaliatory practices, unsafe conditions for students and outright mismanagement to the point of recklessness.

“It is just absolutely egregious what is going on at this school,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Ron Zambrano, a partner and Employment Litigation Chair at West Coast Employment Lawyers. “The unlawful and retaliatory behavior by Mr. West and the school directors have now been documented multiple times by other former employees who never even worked together but all experienced the same horrendous treatment and witnessed the same serious health, safety and education code violations, while all were subjected to the same fate – wrongful termination – and we plan to hold them accountable.”

According to the lawsuit, Meadows began working at Yeezy Christian Academy in November 2020 as an assistant principal earning $18,400 a month. In an agreement with West that he live closer to the school given his leadership role, Meadows uprooted his family from their North Hollywood home and rented a residence for $5,560 a month.

Under the arrangement, the lawsuit states West agreed to pay Meadows’ rent as part of his employee benefits, but only paid the first three months before Meadows “was suspended after calling for meetings and raising concerns regarding the operations of the school.”

Meadows was reinstated about two weeks later but at a lower salary and with his rent no longer being paid, according to the complaint, in a breach of contract that forced Meadows to pay about $60,000 out of his own pocket over the ensuing nine months for rent and living expenses, resulting in severe financial burden.

While at Yeezy, Meadows lodged multiple complaints about inconsistent pay, not being regularly paid wages at all, and health and safety violations, including the following, as described in the lawsuit:

“In the middle of the main classroom, a skylight was left without glass, inevitably allowing rain to fall directly inside, where water would soak into the floor, which would lead to a moldy smell for the next few days. The skylight was intentionally without glass because WEST expressed that he did not like glass. The YCA building would have serious wiring issues, such as exposed telephone and electrical wiring. One time, an electrical fire started near the student eating area where wire was laid atop the ground, exposed. There was no working hot water to effectively wash hands or other items which then created serious sanitation issues … in the middle of the COVID pandemic. The septic tank would overflow every other day, causing a terrible smell.”

In 2021, Yeezy Christian Academy transitioned to Donda Academy and eventually moved to the new location in a different building where Meadows was employed as a teacher’s assistant, and physical education and faith teacher, but he says the alarming and dangerous issues persisted.

Meadows lodged additional complaints about the school having no electricity for the first few months forcing teachers to perform lessons and activities “under commercial flood lamps, powered by a generator,” about the school “not having glass installed in the windows, leaving the interior of the building exposed to the elements, again, because WEST did not like glass,” and how the septic tank regularly overflowed just as it did at the prior location.

After repeated grievances throughout his employment, Meadows says he was fired in August 2022 with no explanation, a clear and illegal retaliatory move by West and the school to silence him, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendants intentionally terminated Plaintiff with the intent of punishing him for engaging in a protected activity, and in doing so, Defendants acted maliciously, fraudulently and oppressively, with the wrongful intention of injuring Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states.

In addition, Meadows alleges in the complaint that he was misclassified as an independent contractor and, as a result, “was not reimbursed for out-of-pocket work-related expenses, was not provided accurate wage statements, and was not paid timely.”

“Defendants intentionally and willfully failed to provide Plaintiff with complete and accurate wage statements,” according to the lawsuit. “The deficiencies include, among other things, the failure to include the gross wages earned, total number of hours worked by Plaintiff, and the failure to accurately list all applicable rates, such as reimbursements for work-related expenses.”

The lawsuit was filed at Los Angeles Superior Court; Isaiah Meadows v. Yeezy Christian Academy; Donda Academy, Inc.; Kayne West, et al.; Case No. 23STCV15676 (July 6, 2023)

About West Coast Employment Lawyers – Los Angeles-based West Coast Employment Lawyers ( is a top-rated law firm with 100 years of collective experience. Our partners worked for the largest firm in Los Angeles, and now leverage their backgrounds and legal knowledge to stand up to the corporations they once defended. Ron Zambrano is a partner and the Employment Litigation Chair at West Coast Employment Lawyers, where he brings more than a decade of experience fighting for employee rights. Since 2008, he’s exclusively represented victims of workplace discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation, and wage and hour violations. Ron has settled millions of dollars in claims on behalf of aggrieved employees from various walks of life and backgrounds.

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