Idol Production Company Sued By Former Employees
Former American Idol production staff are suing the hit U.S. talent show's distributor FremantleMedia North America over claims they were overworked.
Three ex-employees filed suit aganist the production giant at Los Angeles Superior Court alleging the company had consistently overworked its staff, had falsified time cards and failed to offer subsidised meals and breaks.
The trio's statement in court documents reads, "For each reality television series subject to this suit, defendants hired plaintiffs based on a flat weekly or daily pay rate.
"Plaintiffs were required to falsify their time cards ... worked in excess of 40 hours per week during virtually every week of their employment, but they never received any premium overtime play ... plaintiffs were routinely denied appropriate meal and rest periods as required."
Lawyer for the former FremantleMedia employees, Jonathan Biddle, adds, "There's no Hollywood glamour for the below-the-line people who work on 'American Idol' and other reality shows who are grossly underpaid, worked 24/7 and receive no rest or meal breaks and no health coverage - contrary to California labour laws."
The case is similar to a previous employee action against reality TV production companies and broadcasters launched in conjunction with the Writers Guild of America. That suit was recently settled for $4 million (£2.8million).