San Francisco – October 19, 2016 – Lawyers at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld announced today that they have filed a class action lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court against Shorenstein Hays-Nederlander Theatres LLC (SHN) and other defendants on behalf of a putative class of forty-five current and former security guards.  The complaint alleges that SHN fails to pay their guards all wages to which they are owed, fails to provide them with mandatory overtime pay, denies them meal and rest breaks, and fails to provide them with their right to sick leave and suitable seating.  The complaint is here: Smith-v-SHN-class-action-complaint-10-18-16

The security guards work at the two San Francisco theaters currently operated by SHN, the Golden Gate and the Orpheum, and until 2014 worked at a third theater that SHN operated, the Curran.  SHN’s theaters are located in the Tenderloin-mid-Market area of San Francisco, which has historically had among the highest crime rates in the city.

According to the complaint, “SHN promotes itself as “the preeminent theatrical entertainment company in the Bay Area.”  SHN presents a year-round season of plays and musicals featuring world premiers, pre-Broadway engagements, limited West Coast-only runs of productions starring the original Broadway casts. and national tours at its two theaters, the Golden Gate and the Orpheum.  At these theaters and previously at the Curran as well, SHN has hosted such shows Wicked, Mama Mia, A Chorus Line, Legally Blond the Musical, the Lion King, and Les Miserables.  Some of these blockbuster hits ran for years.  In the Spring of 2017, SHN is hosting the highly successful Broadway hit, Hamilton.”

“Our class representatives, Mr. Smith and Mr. Rodrigues, and their fellow security guards have worked long hours to protect theater patrons in what can often be a dangerous neighborhood,” said plaintiff’s counsel Gay Grunfeld.  “In return, SHN and the other defendants have skirted multiple workplace protections and ignored their obligations under state and local law.”

The complaint states that, “To attract customers and ensure the safety of its patrons at these long-running, highly profitable shows, SHN employs a cadre of security guards, mostly retired police and probation officers, who are relegated to part time, on-call status.  Wearing mandatory bright orange jackets, SHN’s security staff patrols the area near the theaters before and after the shows, as late as one o’clock a.m., while productions are running.  SHN’s security guards are required to face danger, weather the cold, and stand for long hours particularly during the ‘load in/load out’ of productions.”

The complaint goes on to say, “Defendants regularly require security guards to work in excess of eight (8) hours per workday.  Further, on some occasions, Defendants require their security guards to work in excess of twelve (12) hours per workday and in excess of forty (40) hours per workweek.  However, Defendants’ long-standing policy and practice has been to fail to pay their security guards daily or weekly overtime compensation.  Defendants do not use a time stamp system, or any other reliable contemporaneous mechanism to record the hours Class Members work accurately.”

The two named plaintiffs are Darol Smith and Joseph Rodrigues.  Mr. Smith was employed by SHN from approximately 1979 to May 2016.  Mr. Rodrigues has been employed by SHN as a security guard from approximately 2008 until the present. The case is Smith v. SHN, Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco, Case #CGC 16-554905.

#   #   #  

Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, founded in San Francisco in 1990, focuses its practice on complex litigation and handles disputes in federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout California and nationwide.  More information at

Media Contact:  Gay Grunfeld, or 415-433-6830