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Gurbaksh Chahal ordered to pay ex-driver $480K in back wages

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Gurbaksh Chahal, a San Francisco Internet entrepreneur who was forced out of his company after being convicted of domestic violence, has now be formally ordered by a judge to pay his former driver nearly half a million dollars in unpaid wages.

Gurbaksh Chahal, founder, chairman and CEO of online advertising company Radium One, is seen in the corporate offices in San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.

Gurbaksh Chahal, founder, chairman and CEO of online advertising company Radium One, is seen in the corporate offices in San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Gurbaksh Chahal, a former San Francisco Internet entrepreneur who was forced out of his company after being convicted of domestic violence, has now be formally ordered by a judge to pay his former driver nearly half a million dollars in unpaid wages.

Chahal, 33, was ordered by a California Labor Commissioner to pay $480,727.81 to Khabib Lutfiyev, his former chauffeur, for almost a year’s worth of time on the job.

Lutfiyev was hired as Chahal’s private driver and bodyguard for his 30th birthday celebration in Bodrum, Turkey, and was ultimately offered full-time work in the same regard from Chahal. When the two returned to California, Lutfiyev assumed the position, Stephanie Barrett, a hearing officer for the labor commission, wrote in the order of the Feb. 11 Sili. Though hesitant at first, Lutfiyev accepted the job on the contingency his family would be relocated to the Bay Area alongside him — a proposition he purportedly came to with the owner of the limousine company he worked for.

Chahal moved the family to Brisbane while Lutfiyev began his new job, Katherine Fiester of the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center said to The San Francisco Chronicle during an interview Tuesday. However, despite the its smooth beginnings, the entire operation soon made a turn for the worst.

Chahal installed an app on Lutfiyev’s phone called “Ping Me,” which tracked every move of his driver, and required him to be on call 24/7, according to Barrett’s order. Feister said Lutfiyev was lucky to log more than a few hours of sleep at night because of his constant work tending to Chahal’s needs.

[quote style=’1′ cite=” title=”]“Being his personal limo driver literally translated into a few hours of sleep a night, and ultimately he wasn’t being paid at all.”[/quote] Feister said.

The two came to an agreement that Lutfiyev would be paid a flat rate of $7,000 per month, according to Feister. But whenever the conversation Lutfiyev’s compensation was brought up, Chahal allegedly responded by saying, “do you want your family evicted?”

“I would drive his Rolls-Royce and his Ferrari and people would think I get paid a good salary,” Lutfiyev told the Chronicle. “He told me I have to park in front of night clubs and strip clubs and tell them ‘That’s Gurbaksh’s car.’”

“When you see an employer like Mr. Chahal not paying their employee, a lot of times it’s about manipulation and control and taking advantage,” Fiester said.

Gurbaksh Chahal in his San Francisco high-rise penthouse in downtown San Francisco, Calif. on Friday Oct. 17, 2008. Chahal is the San Jose internet entrepreneur who made a company as a teenager and sold it to Yahoo for $300 million a few years ago. He has a book coming out on Oct. 23 and will appear on Oprah the same day.

Gurbaksh Chahal in his San Francisco high-rise penthouse in downtown San Francisco, Calif. on Friday Oct. 17, 2008. Chahal is the San Jose internet entrepreneur who made a company as a teenager and sold it to Yahoo for $300 million a few years ago. He has a book coming out on Oct. 23 and will appear on Oprah the same day.

In June 2013, Chahal’s relationship with Lutfiyev and his employer came to an end — the labor commission ultimately found that Chahal, the former RadiumOne CEO and once considered the prime of San Francisco’s most eligible bachelors, owed Lutfiyev $270,816 in unpaid wages, $71,425 in damages, $92,452 in interest and $46,003 in penalties. Chahal’s fall from grace has been well documented — he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of battery and domestic violence battery in April 2014, stemming from an August 2013 assault of his girlfriend in their Rincon Hill home.

Just weeks later, the RadiumOne board of directors decided to fire him as CEO. Before RadiumOne, Chahal founded founded and sold two other Internet companies for more than $300 million.

Chahal has until Wednesday to appeal the order, but before his appeal can be heard, he is required to pay the entire amount ordered.

Information from the San Francisco Chronicle contributed to this report

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US sends aid, and bans travel from India

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US ends aid, bans travel from India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — The Covid-19 crisis continues to spiral out of control in India. And now the U.S. is instituting a travel ban.  It goes into effect on May 4 but won’t apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents and their spouses. Meanwhile foreign aid is flowing into India from places like Israel, America, and Germany.

Sikh’s in Indianapolis held a memorial service to remember the victims of the Fed Ex facility shooting last month. Four of the people who died were from the Sikh community.  Police have not identified a motive for the shooting, yet. It’s unclear if the shooter, a former employee at the facility, was targeting Sikhs. There are a high number of Sikhs, immigrants and refugees who work in the facility.

And mega stars from the Indian diaspora raised more than 3 million dollars for Covid-19 relief in India.  Jay Shetty, Lilly Singh, Deepak Chopra, and Jay Sean. The virtual event was called help India Breathe and aired on Diya TV. The funds are going to three major areas of relief on the ground including food, direct cash transfers to families, and makeshift hospitals.

You can watch the fundraiser and still continue to donate:

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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American Coronavirus aid arrives in India

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American Covid-19 aid arrives in India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — American aid is finally starting to arrive in Covid-19 battered India as vaccination sites run out of shots and thousands of people gasp for air. A U.S. military transport plane delivered more than 400 oxygen cylinders, nearly one million rapid coronavirus test kits, and other supplies. The country has been reporting an average of more than 350,000 new cases of Covid infections every day for the past week.

After seven hours of public comment and testimony from hundreds of people on whether caste should be added to the county’s non-discrimination policy, the Santa Clara Human Rights Commission deferred their vote pending futher testimony and likely another public hearing. Equality Labs and the Hindu American Foundation each made presentations for and against this potential new category at the hearing, that was broadcast exclusively on Diya TV.
Watch the full event here:

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made history during President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress just by taking their seats — marking the first time two women would be sitting behind the President.  Biden’s Indian American chief speech writer Vinay Reddy wrote the president’s address, adding to the historic evening.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Death toll rises as Covid supplies head to India

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Death toll rises as Covid supplies head to India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — No end in sight to India’s deepening Covid-19 crisis as the number of new virus cases in the country shatter records. India added nearly 400 thousand new cases on Thursday, breaking the record set a day earlier, boosting the country’s death toll to more than 200 thousand. US officials have urged Americans to leave the country because of the deteriorating conditions.

Several members of the Dalit community and their supporters are addressing the Santa Clara Human Rights Commission to discuss their experiences with caste discrimination. They want the commission to recommend that the Board of Supervisors make caste a legally protected category against discrimination like race, age, gender and sexual orientation. Equality Labs is pushing this agenda but critics say it is anti-Indian and anti-Hindu.

And the Senate overwhelmingly passed an Asian Hate crimes bill and created a new position at the Justice Department to fast track reviews of potential Covid-19 related hate crimes. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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