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Court denies Vixen Media Group’s motion to have Kenzie Anne class action lawsuit dismissed

“(Their) efforts to make this case go away have failed,” lawyer says; amended complaint details new allegations of worker mistreatment

By Austin King / Editor

Apr 25, 2024

A United States District Judge on Tuesday denied—for the third time—a motion by Vixen Media Group to dismiss a class action lawsuit brought by former performer Kenzie Anne.

Filed in April of 2023, the lawsuit alleges the high-profile studio committed multiple violations of California’s labor laws.

“Despite successive attempts, Vixen's efforts to make this case go away have failed,” David Bibiyan of Bibiyan Law Group, the firm representing Anne, told PornCrush.

“The court's ruling today stands for the proposition that this case is here to stay and can finally move forward on its merits.”

Anne’s legal battle against Vixen intensified last month with the filing of a Second Amended Complaint. Obtained Wednesday by PornCrush, the filing elaborates on the labor and personal rights violations Anne and other performers allegedly endured while working for the studio.

Noteworthy items and allegations in the new complaint include:

Health Risks Ignored - Anne was infected with Monkey Pox in August 2022. Despite the defendants being aware of this ailment, the complaint alleges, they still insisted she report to work. When Anne refused due to her illness, the defendants informed her that she would face the consequences.

Greater Specificity in Allegations - The Second Amended Complaint provides a more detailed description of executive producer Mike Miller's direct involvement in employment decisions, including misclassifying employees as independent contractors and controlling work conditions like scheduling, wardrobe, and appearance standards.

It highlights Miller’s presence during specific instances, such as a shoot at the Glass House in Joshua Tree, where Anne, the plaintiff, allegedly worked more than 12 hours without a single uninterrupted rest or meal period, let alone the required second meal break.

Expanded Scope of Claims - The new complaint is more specific about how the defendants allegedly manipulated labor classification laws to deny proper wages, breaks, and other employment benefits.

There are additional details about the managerial roles and decision-making processes that contributed to these violations, emphasizing the systemic nature of the alleged abuses.

Specific Examples of Labor Violations - The complaint details specific violations, such as the failure to provide meal and rest breaks, accurately track work hours, and appropriately compensate for overtime, which in some cases was directly related to Miller's actions and presence at work sites.

It further accuses Miller and the parent company of maintaining policies that enforced these violations, making the structural problems within the company more apparent.

Broader Legal and Financial Claims - The Second Amended Complaint includes claims for additional financial remedies due to the labor violations, such as unpaid overtime, minimum wages, meal period premiums, rest period premiums, waiting time penalties, and reimbursement expenses, which were not adequately detailed in the Original Complaint.

Autonomy Over Personal Appearance - The defendants maintained strict control over the personal and physical aspects of employees, dictating terms on body modifications and personal grooming. For example, getting a tattoo or changing hair color requires explicit permission from the employer, and non-compliance could lead to canceled shoots and other punitive measures, the lawsuit says.

Lack of Compensation/Reimbursement for Preparatory and Work-Related Activities - According to the complaint, Employees were required to engage in various preparatory activities, such as fitting sessions, obtaining spray tans, and professional manicures, which were necessary for their roles but were not compensated or reimbursed.

Vixen Media Group and the other defendants have until May 14, 2024, to respond to the Second Amended Complaint.

Austin King / Editor

Austin King spent nearly 20 years as a mainstream journalist before pivoting to coverage of the adult industry in 2020. He specializes in breaking news and in-depth features, with some of his best work to date coming for AVN Magazine in profiles of Gina Valentina, Casey Kisses, Anna-Claire Clouds, Kayden Kross, Chanel Camryn, Kenzie Anne, Lilly Bell and others. Austin resides in Texas but makes frequent trips to Porn Valley.