BROWNSVILLE, Texas (CN) — Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi and her lawyer husband worked their Mexican "domestic servant" 120 hours a week at their Texas home and paid her less than minimum wage, the woman claims in court.
Maria de Jesus Galeana Sanchez sued Gloria de los Angeles Trevino Ruiz and her husband Armando Gomez on Tuesday in Southern Texas Federal Court, seeking damages under federal wage and human-trafficking laws.
Trevino Ruiz, 48, is known publicly as Gloria Trevi. She is an actress and singer who has sold more than 20 million records and has been called the "Supreme Diva of Mexican Pop."
Trevi is from Monterrey, Mexico. She got her start singing for spare change on the street before leaving home at age 12 to pursue her career in Mexico City, according to reports.
Trevi is known for addressing Mexico's social ills, such as drug trafficking and abuse against women, in her lyrics as well as her seductive dance moves that have drawn comparisons to Madonna.
In her lawsuit, Galeana claims she initially worked for Trevi and Gomez in Mexico.
"In October 2013, defendants Trevino Ruiz and Armando Gomez obtained a visa for plaintiff Galeana Sanchez to come to the United States and work as their domestic servant," the complaint states. "Plaintiff worked for defendants as a domestic servant in the U.S. from October 2013 until April 2014."
Galeana says the couple employed her at the McAllen, Texas, home of Gomez's relative, Amelia Gomez.
Amelia Gomez is also a defendant in the lawsuit, which doesn't state what her relationship is to Armando Gomez.
Galeana says the trio paid her 5,000 Mexican pesos every two weeks by depositing the funds in her Mexican bank account, an amount "far below" the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
"Plaintiff worked approximately 120 hours per week throughout her employment as a domestic servant. Defendants did not properly compensate plaintiff for all the hours she worked," the lawsuit states.
In April 2014, the last month Galeana worked for Trevi, $1 was trading for just over 13 Mexican pesos.
Using that figure, Galeana's bi-weekly wages of 5,000 pesos amounted to $384. If she was paid the federal minimum wage her paychecks would have been $1,740 based on the 240 hours she allegedly worked every two weeks.
Galeana seeks damages for breach of contract and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, claiming Trevi and company confiscated her passport.
"Defendants knowingly took and concealed Plaintiff's passport to prevent her from proving her legal status and/or to restrict her ability to move and travel in order to maintain the labor and services of plaintiff," the lawsuit states.
Galeana is represented by Javier Maldonado in San Antonio. She seeks punitive damages.
Trevi's press contact Monica Escobar said she couldn't comment on the lawsuit.
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