A Joan Rivers labor law dispute kicked off this week, with writers for Rivers’ E! show, Fashion Police, filing a $1.1 million labor lawsuit to demand back wages they say haven’t been paid.
The lawsuit has been brought by 12 writers from the show. The group claims they were not paid wages at an agreed upon rate and that overtime laws were violated. The writers are seeking an additional $400,000 in damages.
The writers allege that Fashion Police broke state laws that require employers to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all the time they worked in an eight-hour period. They also claim the show disregarded overtime laws for any time beyond eight hours in a workday.
Rugby Productions, the Rivers-owned production company that makes Fashion Police, is now under investigation by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Hearings will be held by the DSLE to decide whether Rugby Productions and E! Network must pay back wages and further penalties.
Fashion Police is not unionized, though it is understood the staff were helped to file their legal paperwork by the Western division of Writer’s Guild of America.
Speaking to Deadline, Rivers’ manager Larry A. Thompson said he was unaware of any lawsuit filed against the comedienne:
“We have not seen any claim filed by anyone anywhere and therefore cannot comment at this time.”
Rivers, who recently attracted controversy when she dubbed Adele “fat” (see video below), has yet to comment.
How do you think the Joan Rivers labor law dispute will end? And could this affect the future of Fashion Police?
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