While companies may refuse to pay their employees overtime in order to increase their own profits, at least they never claim that the salaries the employees receive are “a favor”. Lady Gaga has said just that in a six-hour deposition she gave as part of an overtime lawsuit being filed against her by her former assistant.
According to the lawsuit, the assistant, Jennifer O’Neill, was allegedly on call to cater to the Diva’s every whim at every hour of the day and night for the 13 months she worked for Gaga. O’Neill was in charge of handling Gaga’s schedule, finances, food and clothing. Her alleged duties included everything from acting as an alarm clock to ensuring the promptness of a towel after a shower. Gaga allegedly required service everywhere including her Upper West Side duplex, “stadiums, private jets, fine hotel suites, yachts, ferries, trains, and tour buses.” There were allegedly no breaks for meals or, sometimes, even sleep, according to the lawsuit.
O’Neill’s salary was $75,000 a year and she is suing for $393,000 for more than 7,000 hours of overtime, as well as unspecified damages.
A Gaga spokesperson has said that the allegations are “completely without merit” and the pop superstar herself has said in her deposition that O’Neill was paid her salary “essentially as a favor”. Gaga also said that O’Neill “knew what she was getting into, and she knew there was no overtime.” Lady Gaga appears to be unaware that whether or not an employee is eligible for overtime is a matter to be decided, not by her, but by the law. The lawsuit was filed in a Manhattan federal court.
The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large hotel and restaurant chains such as Hilton, Ritz-Carlton and Marriott for misclassifying employees as managers, forcing employees to work off the clock and during meals, altering time sheets and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our LaGrange and Wheaton overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago wage and hour attorney by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.