Madonna is facing legal action for unfair dismissal from former employees of her Raising Malawi charity following the collapse of plans for a girls school in the African nation.
The pop superstar had been working on building a $15 million education facility in the village of Chinkhota, near the capital of Lilongwe, through her charitable organisation.
However, the project has now been abandoned amid allegations of financial mismanagement, prompting Madonna to dismiss the foundation’s board of directors. The singer’s representatives have since blamed former Raising Malawi Executive Director Philippe van den Bossche, who quit in October, for the mess.
But Madonna’s actions have landed her in trouble with eight disgruntled employees at Raising Malawi and they are taking their labour complaints to the country’s Industrial Court.
The workers’ lawyer, Mzondi Chirambo, says, “Their employment was terminated by the trustees of Raising Malawi Academy for Girls ostensibly following the change of plan not to build the school as planned.
“My clients are also being forced to sign a discriminatory termination agreement before they are paid their benefits.”
Madonna has 14 days to respond to the claim, but the workers are likely to face a tough fight – the singer is looking into her own legal options and is considering filing suit against those involved in the failure of the school.