Breaking the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)’s minimum wage and overtime provisions is hardly uncommon in the construction and restaurant industries, but would you say the same about a major Hollywood production studio? Paramount Pictures, along with several other production companies, is now facing a FLSA lawsuit filed by four assistants alleging that the companies refused to pay the employees minimum wage or overtime pay despite their working “around the clock.”
Filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, N.Y., last month, the assistants’ lawsuit claims they were regularly denied such basic benefits as mealtime and restroom breaks, leaving some assistants forced to use their own vehicles as bathrooms. The FLSA lawsuit alleges:
Due to limitations on their ability to leave their assigned locations, many of the Plaintiffs are forced to urinate and defecate into bottles and buckets in their vehicles.
The FLSA suit went on to describe how the Plaintiffs were needed to work as parking production assistants, leaving them the responsibility of ensuring filming sites were clear of pedestrians and cars. Parking production assistants are also required to protect production vehicles and equipment on set. Some of the big-budget films listed on the complaint by the assistants, who live in New York, include movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Noah.”
Despite working between 60 and 100 hours a week, the complaint alleges the four assistants were only paid $140 to $160 by Paramount and the other Defendants for each 12-hour shift. The payments did not cover any overtime compensation or regard for minimum wage laws, the lawsuit claims. The assistants’ suit is seeking unspecified damages, ranging from unpaid wages and penalties to attorneys’ fees. Plaintiffs also seek to receive class-action status for the lawsuit.
Source: LA Times