Lawsuit claims Church of Scientology violated child labor and wage laws

A runaway from the Church of Scientology's restrictive religious order, the Sea Org, alleges in two lawsuits filed Friday that the church violated California laws regulating child labor, wages and school attendance.

Daniel Montalvo, who turns 20 today, also contends his parents, who remain in the Sea Org, neglected him and breached their duty to protect him from harm by ceding his care to the church.

Church spokesman Tommy Davis said Friday night the church had not been served with the suits and could not comment on them. He noted Montalvo took Church of Scientology property computer hard drives when he left valued at tens of thousands of dollars. Then, with the help of church defectors Montalvo moved them across state lines.


The lawsuits filed in state court in L.A. include allegations that Montalvo:

Was permitted to attend school about one day a week because working for Sea Org took priority.

Spent his childhood working at least 40 hours a week, and often more than 100 hours a week for pay that ranged from $35 to $50 a week.

Had no work permits required of minors.

Was made to work back-to-back 12-hour days in the fall of 2007, when the church was pushing its staff to produce and sell a new book release.

From 2008 to 2010, was punished along with other workers for lack of production. He was made to run laps wearing a jacket and tie, clean grease traps and do push ups.

Worked past midnight for two months in 2009 after rising at 6 a.m. each day, and was made to do push ups and dig ditches for lack of production.

Suffered an accident at age 16 while cleaning a "notching" machine at the church's printing unit, Bridge Publications. Half of his right index finger was cut off and no ambulance was called, the lawsuit asserts. It says Montalvo was taken to the hospital but told by the Sea Org to tell doctors he was a volunteer. He was not to mention Scientology.

From article at Tampabay.com

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