Alanis Morissette Sued by Nanny for Unpaid Wages, Overtime, and Meal Break Violations

Alanis Morissette's Twitter Page  

Alanis Morissette’s former nanny, Bianca Cambeiro, has sued the singer and her husband Mario 'Souleye' Treadway, claiming that she was not paid overtime and forced to work 12-hour shifts without overtime pay or a break.

Cambeiro alleges in the lawsuit that she was hired as a night nanny for the couple's son. Her shift was from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. for $25 per hour. Cambeiro states that, during her employment, Morissette and her husband prohibited Cambeiro from leaving the baby’s room during her 12-hour shift, even if the baby was sleeping. As such, she claims she could neither eat nor take a break during her shift. Additionally, Cambeiro claims that Morissette and her husband failed to pay her statutory required overtime wages, in violation of California law.

Cambeiro seeks unpaid wages and other damages. Cambeiro also says that she suffered emotional distress--which are not recoverable for wage and hour violations.

Morissette is one of many celebrities who have been sued by for overtime by their:

Nannies:

Assistants:

What do you think of these celebrity overtime claims?  Do you think these are true or made up celebrity shake downs?

 

Cheerleaders File Wage & Hour Class Action Against NFL's Raiders

Can you believe the NFL's Oakland Raiders pay their cheerleaders only $1,250 per year?!  Well they do.  In fact, the Raiders actually pay many cheerleaders less if you take into account their unreimbursed expenses and fines they give to their cheerleaders.

That is why the Raiders are now being sued for failure to pay minimum wages and overtime and illegally requiring cheerleaders to pay expenses out of their $125-per-game salaries.  The Raiderettes allege they do 2-3 rehearsals per week, performances at 10 charity events each season, and participate in the team's annual swimsuit calendar photo shoot.  Along with the games themselves, they allege that this makes their wages below $5 per hour. California's minimum wage is $8 per hour.

The suit also alleges that the Raiders:

1) impose arbitrary fines on the cheerleaders for such offenses as bringing the wrong pom-poms to practice;

2) illegally withhold the Raiderettes' salaries until the end of each season, in violation of California law requiring pay at least twice a month; and

3) illegally prohibits the cheerleaders from discussing their wages with one another.

A Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader has since filed a similar lawsuit.

What do you think of Raiderettes getting paid so little while the players make millions?

 

Garth Brooks Sued for Unpaid Wages

Garth BrooksGarth Brooks' former business partner is suing him for unpaid wages and bonuses.  Lisa Sanderson is seeking $425,000 from the famed country music artist whom she worked with for almost 20 years.  Sanderson is a television and movie producer who claims she was hired by Brooks to start his acting career. Sanderson claims she is owed wages for getting Brooks movie roles which he declined.  Brooks allegedly declined roles in Saving Private Ryan and Twister because he "wanted to be the star" and was not willing to take a backseat to Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, or a tornado.

Sanderson also alleges Brooks turned down other deals she arranged for him including Fox and Disney.  Sanderson's suit states that she never got the 50 percent of producers fees she was promised.

What do you think of a business partner--as opposed to an employee--suing for unpaid "wages"?

Please post your comments at:  www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

For a little more juicy unpaid wages/salary misclassified case see my article re Lady Gaga being sued here.

 

 

 

Lady Gaga Sued By Personal Assistant for Unpaid Overtime

Lady Gaga In yet another celebrity lawsuit, Lady Gaga's former personal assistant has sued the pop star for $380,000 of alleged unpaid overtime.  Gaga's former personal assistant, Jennifer O'Neill, says she was on-call almost every hour of every day she worked for Gaga.  This included being Gaga's "personal alarm clock", fetching tampons, changing DVD's, and doing whatever the eccentric pop star asked for.  Gaga's main legal defense is that Ms. O'Neill never worked over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week if you just add up her tasks individually.

Ms. O'Neill though, claims she was always required to be available and never paid for working over 8 hours in a day.  Ms. O'Neill only received her $75,000 a year salary.

During Gaga's deposition she made the following interesting statements:

"Jennifer is a fucking hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn't earn. She thinks she's just like the queen of the universe. And, you know what, she didn't want to be a slave to one, because in my work and what I do, I'm the queen of the universe every day."

She knew there was no overtime, and I never paid her overtime the first time I hired her, so why would she be paid overtime the second time? This whole case is bullsh*t and you know it.

I'm quite wonderful to everybody that works for me, and I am completely aghast to what a disgusting human being that you have become to sue me like this. Because she slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with [photographer] Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking [Yves Saint Laurent] to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission.

Unfortunately for Lady Gaga, bad performance or misconduct by an employee is not a defense to non-payment of overtime.  Neither is treating your employee to the benefits of a lavish lifestyle.  Overtime must be paid to all non-exempt employees who work over 8 hours in a day and/or 40 hours in a week (depending on your state).  An agreement to be a salaried employee does not override this rule.

What do you think of Gaga's assistant's lawsuit?  Should employees have to be paid for every hour they are available to their employer, even if they only work a small portion of that time?

Comment at:   http://www.shirazilawfirm.com/lady-gaga-sued-by-personal-assistant-for-unpaid-overtime/

 

Oprah Winfrey's TV Network Sued for Employment Discrimination & Wrongful Termination in Los Angeles

oprah-winfrey-16x9 Oprah Winfrey's TV network OWN is one of the latest celebrity owned companies sued for wrongful termination and discrimination.  Former employee and Senior Director Carolyn Hommel filed suit against OWN in Los Angeles Superior Court.  Hommel alleges she was replaced by a temporary employee after going on pregnancy leave.

A month after giving birth, Hommel alleges that OWN "laid her off" after she had already been demoted and given an undeserved bad review.

Under California law, most employers are not allowed to discriminate or retaliate against an employee for taking pregnancy or disability leave.  The question is did OWN fire Hommel for other reasons.

Price is Right Model Gets $8.5 Million Award for Pregnancy Discrimination

"The Price is Right" has been hit with an $8.5 million jury verdict for pregnancy discrimination against former "Barker Beauty" model Brandi Cochran.  The 41 year old former Price is Right model says that she was not allowed to return to work after her maternity leave in violation of California law.

The Los Angeles jury determined the former model's pregnancy was the reason she wasn't rehired and awarded Cochran $776,944 in regular damages and $7.7 million in punitive damages.  In their defense, producers FremantleMedia North America and The Price is Right Productions said they were satisfied with the five models working on the show at the time Cochran sought to return.

"I'm humbled. I'm shocked," Cochran said after the jury announced its verdict. "I'm happy that justice was served today not only for women in the entertainment industry, but women in the workplace."

The producers will appeal the verdict stating: "We believe the verdict in this case was the result of a flawed process in which the court, among other things, refused to allow the jury to hear and consider that 40 percent of our models have been pregnant," and further "important" evidence.
This was not the first employment lawsuit by a "Barker Beauty" against the show's producers.
What do you think of this huge verdict for failing to bring back an employee who went on pregnancy leave?
Please post your thoughts on ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

 

Magic Johnson Sued for Wrongful Termination and Age Discrimination in Los Angeles

Magic Johnson's former flight attendant has sued his company for wrongful termination in Los Angeles Superior Court.  The former employee on Magic Johnson's private plane, Lanita Thomas, is suing for age discrimination and various California Labor Code violations.  Ms. Thomas, 45, alleges that Magic replaced her with a much younger flight attendant because he prefers younger women in violation of the law. Ms. Thomas claims that the "pretext" for her termination by Magic was that she was seven minutes late while trying to get Magic the very specific kind of turkey he likes in his sandwiches.  Ms. Thomas-who worked for Magic since 2004-alleges that Magic hired the much younger flight attendant that temporarily substituted in for her during her prior medical leave of absence.

In addition to the age discrimination claim, Ms. Thomas is suing for California Labor Code violations, including non-payment of overtime and missed meal and rest periods.  Ms. Thomas alleges that she spent about a third of her time stocking Magic's private plane with “highly specific in-flight food and beverage choices,” including liquorice, which she was required to “regularly squeeze to make sure they were soft.”  Ms. Thomas alleges that because she was the only flight attendant and had to spend so much time on the above-mentioned tasks, that she was never allowed to take full meal or rest breaks.

What do you think of the age discrimination claim against Magic?

 

 

"The Bachelor" Race Discrimination Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

Update from a previous post:

Several months back I wrote a post on the lawsuit filed by two African-American men who sued the shows "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" for race discrimination because they did not have African-American contestants (see my first post below).  Well, last week the judge dismissed the case on grounds that casting decisions by the network and the series' producers are protected by the First Amendment.

The federal judge stated that while the Plaintiffs' efforts are "laudable," they cannot regulate the show's content under the First Amendment.  The judge ruled that:  "Ultimately, whatever messages `The Bachelor' and `The Bachelorette' communicate or are intended to communicate – whether explicitly, implicitly, intentionally, or otherwise – the First Amendment protects the right of the producers of these shows to craft and control those messages, based on whatever considerations the producers wish to take into account".

What do you think of this ruling on First Amendment grounds?  Wouldn't then all discrimination be allowable as freedom of expression?

Comment below or at www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

 

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:  Two African Americans are suing the long-running show “The Bachelor” for race discrimination.  The two men say that they—like many other African Americans—were not chosen by the show’s producers because of their race.

This case brings up two points.  First, most people think of race discrimination as being outlawed only by employment laws.  It seems unlikely that a Bachelor contestant would be an employee, but race discrimination laws can still apply.  Many states have civil rights laws prohibiting race discrimination in all sorts of situations—such as public accommodations.

Next, there is the question of whether there are exceptions to the civil rights and employment laws for such discrimination.  In the employment law context, many state laws have an “entertainment” exception.  For example, if a Broadway play or TV show is trying to cast someone to play the role of Martin Luther King, it is permissible to only hire/cast someone who is an African American male.

Now, The Bachelor does not have specific racial roles, but the producers may (rightly or wrongly) argue that their target audience is a specified gender, age, and race group.  This is a tough one to decide.  What do you think?

http://www.shirazilawfirm.com/suing-the-bachelor-for-race-discrimination/

 

Desperate Housewife Nicollette Sheridan Loses Again on Her Wrongful Termination Claim

 

Update from a prior post--Court of Appeal decision:  Former Desparate Housewife co-star Nicollette Sheridan sued her production company for wrongful termination in 2010.  Sheridan alleged she was terminated (her character killed off the show) in retaliation for complaining about the show creator striking her.  The Los Angeles jury deadlocked and could not make a decision of whether she was retaliated against or her character was killed off for creative reasons.

After the jury trial, Defendant Touchstone Pictures appealed the trial court's denial of their request for a directed verdict.  Touchstone's request for a directed verdict was based on there being no termination because Sheridan's contract was simply not renewed.   The California Court of Appeal agreed with Touchstone and held:

"We conclude that the trial court erred in denying Touchstone’s motion for a directed verdict."  "A cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy does not lie if an employer decides simply not to exercise an option to renew a contract." ...“We conclude also that Sheridan should be permitted to file an amended complaint alleging a cause of action under Labor Code section 6310 that Touchstone retaliated against her for complaining about unsafe working conditions (e.g., Cherry’s conduct) by deciding not to exercise its option to renew her contract."

What do you think of the court's ruling that not having your contract renewed is not a termination?

Comment below or at www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog