Santa Monica, CA – January 13, 2024
The iconic Sweet Lady Jane bakeries abruptly closed their doors on New Year’s Day, leaving patrons and employees stunned. While the official statement cited a lack of sales as the primary reason for the sudden shutdown, recent revelations indicate that the company had been entangled in a class-action lawsuit for nearly seven months.
Former employee Blanca Juarez had filed the lawsuit, alleging wage theft against Sweet Lady Jane LLC and SLJ Wholesale LLC. The legal battle sheds light on a challenging period for the bakery, as allegations of unpaid wages and mismanagement surfaced amidst the closure.
According to court documents, Juarez claimed that she and fellow hourly-paid employees had experienced a pattern of wage abuse, including unpaid overtime and missed breaks. The lawsuit also accused Sweet Lady Jane of maintaining inaccurate payroll records and failing to reimburse necessary business-related expenses. Attorneys for both parties have not commented on the ongoing legal dispute.
As the sudden closure continues to raise questions among loyal customers and the wider Los Angeles community, the unexpected legal challenges faced by Sweet Lady Jane add a layer of complexity to the narrative. The fate of the class-action lawsuit and the company’s decision to pursue a bankruptcy alternative remain integral aspects of this evolving story, leaving a once-beloved bakery’s legacy under scrutiny.