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/