Two former female employees of the Los Angeles-based indie Latin label Nacional Records filed a lawsuit yesterday (July 22) against its founder Tomas Cookman. The complaint contained 15 charges against Cookman that included sexual harassment, wrongful termination and failure to pay all wages earned. Cookman denied the charges.
The complaint, filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court and which named Tomas Cookman, Nacional Records and Cookman International as defendants, alleged that Cookman continually harassed receptionist Montserrat Perez along with intern, and later assistant, Claudia Becerra. It further claims that he failed to pay Becerra while she was an intern last summer, which is a violation of California law, according to the lawsuit.
Through his attorneys, Cookman vehemently denied all allegations.
“My clients, Tomas Cookman, Cookman International and Nacional Records, take these allegations extremely seriously and unequivocally deny all sexual harassment and other allegations of purported wrongdoing made by both plaintiffs,” said Rebecca Aragon, a shareholder and attorney at Littler Mendelson. “My clients have long been committed to providing a workplace free of harassment and discrimination and in accordance with the law. We are confident that the facts of this case will reveal that these allegations are completely without merit. My clients have a strong track record of promoting women in the workplace and in the entertainment industry.”
Nacional Records, which operates under Cookman International, represents some of the biggest names in Latin alternative music including Spanish/French singer Manu Chao, Colombian act Aterciopelados and French/Chilean hip-hop rapper Ana Tijoux. RED/Sony Music Entertainment distributes Nacional Records.
Cookman also owns the Latin Alternative Music Conference, which next year turns 15.