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Celine Dion Sued for Employee Misclassification, Wage and Hour Violations

July 10, 2012

Singer Celine Dion and her husband are being sued for wage and hour violations, according to a recent news development that Vincent Howard has been watching. The wage and hour lawsuit claims that the couple illegally misclassified a warehouse manager as an exempt employee, while he worked for them in Florida.

According to the lawsuit filed by former employee Keith Sturevant, Celine and Rene hired Keith in March of 2009 as a warehouse manager, and improperly classified him according to his title, as exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sturtevant claims that he was erroneously labeled as an exempt employee with an executive exemption, and paid an annual salary--instead of receiving hourly wages and overtime compensation, even though he often worked over forty hours in a workweek.

Although Sturevant was hired as a manager, he claims that he was more of a manual laborer and handyman, working for Dion and her husband at their home in Hobe Sound, Florida, doing work like cleaning house shutters, building stages, fixing household items like icemakers, as well as running other errands. He claims that although he was given the managerial title, he had no power to fire or hire any other employees and was therefore misclassified as an exempt employee.

As Vincent Howard has previously discussed in a Santa Ana overtime violation blog, exemptions of the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime provisions are available for individuals who are employed as executive, professional, administrative, and also outside sales employees, as well as certain computer employees. These employment exemptions are not defined by an employee's title, but what their job responsibility requires. Each individual must meet a certain criteria in order to qualify as exempt from the FLSA overtime requirements.

The FLSA requires that employees with a nonexempt status, who are covered by the act, must be compensated with a minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour, plus overtime compensation of time and one-half their normal payment rates, for hours worked beyond forty in a workweek. This includes incentive pay, job commissions, and bonuses.

Sturevant is seeking back payment of overtime wages from 2009, when he started his employment. He accuses Celine and Rene of misclassifying other employees as well. Dion's representative reportedly stated that the warehouse manager was paid a generous yearly salary that covered overtime for his employment for over three years, and that he was fired for an alleged poor job performance.

If you or someone you know in Orange County, California have been misclassified as exempt from the FLSA's overtime and minimum wage provisions, contact attorney Vincent Howard and our Costa Mesa labor and employment legal team at Howard Law, PC for a free consultation about your rights.

Celine Dion Sued for Being a Cheapskate, Investor Place, June 29, 2012

Celine Dion Sued for Screwing Employees Out of Overtime, June 28, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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