A former personal assistant for pop star Lady Gaga has settled a wage-and-hour dispute out of court with the entertainer. The case was poised for trial in early November in Manhattan. Court papers filed on Monday indicate that a settlement has been reached to resolve the dispute.
The main issue in the employment law litigation involved compensation. The former personal assistant says that she was not paid for more than 6,600 in overtime pay for work performed during a short period of time in 2009 and for work performed from February 2010 through sometime in March 2011.
Generally, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that non-exempt workers covered by the law receive overtime pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. A workweek is not necessarily defined by the normal calendar week (to avoid potential loopholes). The workweek is defined as any fixed and recurring period of 168 consecutive hours (the equivalent of seven consecutive 24 hour days), according to the Department of Labor.
In the recent overtime dispute between the former personal assistant and Lady Gaga (the pop star's touring company was also a defendant in the New York employment law dispute), the woman say that she was only paid a flat rate for hours worked. In 2009, she says that her income was a flat rate of $50,000 per year, which was increased at some point in 2010 to a $75,000 per year rate. But, she says that she was essentially on-call 24-7 and worked thousands of hours in excess of 40 hours per week.
In fact, the woman says that she was often placed in the same hotel room with the pop star while on tour and was required to work at any time of the day or night. In a pretrial deposition, Lady Gaga said that the woman could not have a work schedule, according to the Associated Press. Punching in and punching out was not an option. The woman needed to be available when the pop star needed her, according to the litigation.
Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, "Lady Gaga, ex-assistant settle NY lawsuit," The Associated Press, Oct. 21, 2013; Bloomberg News, "Lady Gaga Settles Ex-Assistant's Suit on Unpaid Overtime," Patricia Hurtado, Oct 21, 2013