Lady Gaga Sued by Former Personal Assistant for Nearly $400K in Wage and Hour Lawsuit
January 9, 2012
Lady Gaga, the wildly flamboyant popstar, was sued recently by former personal assistant Jennifer O'Neill, in a wage and hour lawsuit that accused the singer of violating wage and hour laws by forcing her to work without proper overtime payment.
According to the wage and hour lawsuit that our Orange County labor and employment attorney Vincent Howard has been following, the former employee claims that as Gaga's personal assistant for thirteen months during her 2010 Monster Ball world tour, Lady Gaga owes her hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime.
O'Neill's was reportedly paid $75,000 per year for as Gaga's personal assistant, and was responsible for ensuring that Lady Gaga was always on schedule, and for catering to the popstar's every need at all times of the day and night--in her home base New York duplex, and during her travels to cities throughout the country, and during her global concert tours, including assisting the popstar on tour buses, trains, yachts, hotel suites, stadiums, private jets, and on ferries.
O'Neill was also reportedly expected to manage personal details like Gaga's finances, food intake, and ensuring that Lady Gaga always promptly received towels following showers. O'Neill was also responsible for ensuring the availability of her specifically chosen and often outlandish outfits.
In her wage and hour lawsuit, O'Neill claims that while working for Lady Gaga, she often worked 10-hour days, with no meal breaks, often times no sleep, and she was expected to be available for anything the singer needed, at any time of the day or night. The former assistant is suing Gaga's Mermaid Touring Company for at least $393,014 in back wages to compensate her for a reported 7,168 hours of unpaid overtime. Along with back pay, O'Neill is asking for unspecified damages.
According to the New York Post, this is not the first time that Lady Gaga, whose proper name is Stefani Germanotta, has asked an employee to perform round-the-clock personal assistance. Another former assistant Angela Clemny reportedly claimed in the book "Poker Face" that she was required to sleep with the performer during many nights, put on makeup with the singer, and shower with her at the same time--as Gaga disliked being alone.
As Vincent Howard reported recently in an Orange County employment lawyers blog, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) all employees are entitled to receive at least the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked in a forty-hour workweek. If employees work beyond forty hours in a week, they are entitled to receive overtime compensation, which under federal law totals one and one-half the standard payment rate of the employee, which includes commissions, incentive pay, and bonuses.
A representative for Lady Gaga stated that this wage and hour lawsuit is completely without merit. The performer was estimated to have earned $90 million last year.
In Costa Mesa, California, contact our California labor and employment lawyer Vincent Howard, at Howard Law, PC today.
I was Gaga's Slave, New York Post, December 25, 2011
Lady Gaga's ex-assistant sues her for $400K, The Today Show/MSNBC, December 28, 2011
Lady Gaga Sued by Ex-Assistant, ABC News, December 26, 2011
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