Shakira’s former employees demand labor rights

The lawyer of Shakira’s former employees has accused the Colombian pop star of refusing to give his clients their due benefits, reported local media Friday.

The couple’s lawyer, Abelardo de la Espriella, has accused Shakira and her lawyer of negligence for offering her ex-employees $6,000 with no benefits, an offer worth much less than he believes they are owed.

“Shakira is looking to avoid taxes by putting the Bahamas as the origen of the work, when they were verbally contracted in Barranquilla,” said De la Espriella.

The Colombian couple Maritza Avila, who worked for Shakira for 24 years, and Diwier Hernandez, who worked for the singer for 11 years, were dismissed in May after refusing to cook the famed pop star a meal in the middle of the night. The battle has since continued between employee and employer.

Shakira had accused her former employees of extorsion and defamation, saying that they threatened to share private videos of her and her boyfriend. The employees have since denounced these accusations of blackmail, and have claimed that they are only looking to fulfill their labor rights.

“In no moment did they extort her, the only thing that they are claiming are their labor rights,” said the De la Espriella, who has asked that the singer’s lawyer retract the accusation or they in turn will sue Shakira for defamation.

The lawyer concluded that, “even though Shakira had the right to fire her employees […] she can’t ignore the benefits of her workers.”

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