Fashion Police writers file with state alleging wage and hour violations. WGAW assists.
(April 5, 2013)
Writers on the E! Channel’s popular Fashion Police filed claims last week with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) that could result in the cable TV network having to pay more than one million dollars in back wages.
The writers who filed the complaints – assisted by the Guild - allege that E! has broken state labor law by not compensating them for all of the regular and overtime hours they’ve worked. According to the complaint, Fashion Police ignores the California laws that require an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all time worked in an eight-hour period. In addition, the law requires paying overtime for employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek.
“The most I’ve been paid for a show has been for eight hours of work,” said Fashion Police writer Eliza Skinner. “In reality, I put in anywhere from 12 to 32 additional hours on each show – time I should have been compensated for. On top of that is all the unpaid overtime we regularly work. There are some shows where we are required to work 16-hour days, from 2:30 p.m. until around 5:30 the following morning.”
Added writer Bryan Cook: “We love writing for Fashion Police, but the company needs to do the right thing and pay us fairly for all the hard work and time we put into it. We’ve helped make it one of the network’s top-rated shows and E! needs to start treating us like professional writers.”
The claims were filed with the California Labor Commissioner, whose office will hold hearings to determine if the writers are entitled to back pay and penalties based on the alleged violations.
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