H.E.R. is officially taking legal action against her record label after being connected to the company for more than 11 years. The musician first signed at the tender age of 14, and she is now pushing to be released, citing a labor code violation as the reason.
Born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, H.E.R. filed a lawsuit against MBK Entertainment in a Los Angeles County Superior Court last Thursday (June 16) and accused the label of violating the California Labor Code § 2855. According to the LA Times, the policy limits personal service contracts to no more than seven years.
The Questionable Contract
The singer initially signed the contract on May 19, 2011, and was named an “exclusive employee” for a period that was intended to last for 15 months after signing or 12 months following the release of her first album. Per further reports, the contract had the ability for an extension of up to five additional option periods of over one year each.
H.E.R.’s first studio album, “Back of My Mind” was released on June 18, 2021.
“Wilson’s seven years have run,” said the suit. “MBK’s attempts to thwart this important and fundamental California public policy should not be condoned.”
Upon signing to the label, H.E.R. also named MBK owner Jeff Robinson as her manager. He then moved to fire the law firm representing the 24-year-old musician during the time that her contract was being negotiated. The lawsuit reveals that he instead hired his own lawyers to represent his artist which included looking over future contracts for publishing and touring among other things.
Robinson received a 20 percent commission for each deal fulfilled by H.E.R. while lawyers received five percent of any contracts that they negotiated. The lawsuit states that it was all listed as a “favor” to Robinson.
While the “Damage” crooner has sued MBK Entertainment, Robinson himself is not named as a defendant. Not only is she asking to be released from the label, but has also requested catalog rights, restitution, legal fees, and other relief “as the Court deems just and proper.”