In court papers, Daniels alleges hostile work environment conditions, sexual harassment, racial harassment, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, failure to engage in the interactive process in violation of FEHA, retaliation in violation of FEHA, retaliation in violation of the labor code and assault.
The lawsuit states that Daniels began designing custom pieces for Lizzo’s tour in September 2022. Around January, Daniels was asked by Nomura to join Lizzo’s “Special Tour.” On or about Feb. 14, Daniels began working with Lizzo, reporting to Nomura for the duration of her employment on the tour.
The lawsuit also alleges Daniels often worked seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and was often denied breaks by Nomura, who also allegedly pressured her to work on her days off.
Other allegations in the lawsuit point to racism and bullying, and outline an instance where members of Lizzo’s crew, primarily white men, were allegedly gawking, sneering and giggling at dancers changing. Daniels also alleges she heard racist and fatphobic comments from Nomura, often hearing her refer to Black women on the tour as “dumb,” “useless” and “fat.”
Daniels says in the suit that she raised concerns of racial discrimination to tour manager Gugliotta but was ignored. One instance the lawsuit points out details how Nomura allegedly sprained Daniels’ ankle when they were transporting a rack of clothing. Daniels switched to orthopedic shoes but was allegedly forced by Nomura to change into tennis shoes.
The lawsuit states Daniels was fired before her contract was up. Daniels says she continues to suffer ongoing anxiety and PTSD after the tour, in addition to migraines and migraine-induced eye twitch and ocular distortions, brain fog and fatigue.
Daniels is seeking a jury trial and damages related to unpaid wages, loss of earnings, deferred compensation, other employment benefits, emotional distress, medical expenses and attorney fees.
Lizzo is also being sued in another lawsuit, filed on Aug. 1, by three dancers who accused the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. “These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional,” the singer wrote on her Instagram on Aug. 3.