It looks like “American Idol” is facing a major class action lawsuit filed by former employees of the show and contestants.
The Blast obtained the exclusive court documents, which involve some crazy stories… including one about a carrot-shaped purse!
‘American Idol’ Is Facing A Major Class Action Lawsuit… That Involves A Carrot-Shaped Purse?!
According to the legal documents obtained by The Blast, the Plaintiff is bringing this class action lawsuit against “American Idol” on behalf of herself and “Class Members.”
The “Class Members” consist of unpaid or underpaid individuals who participated in or worked on the creation of any non-scripted content production for the American Idol reality television series, or performed services of a commercial nature related to content subject matter creation, including but not limited to performing and singing, in California by, in association with, or on behalf of any of the Defendants during the Class Period.
The Plaintiff is also bringing the class action lawsuit on behalf of “Aggrieved Employees,” who consist of unpaid or underpaid individuals who participated in or worked on the creation of any non-consist of all unpaid or underpaid individuals who participated in or worked on the creation of any non-scripted content production for the American Idol reality television series, or performed services of a commercial nature related to content subject matter creation, including but not limited to performing and singing, in California by, in association with, or on behalf of any of the Defendants during the PAGA Period.
It’s worth noting that the “PAGA Period” is designated as the time from one year and 65 days prior to the filing of this Complaint through the trial of this action based upon the allegation that the violations of the Labor Code have been ongoing since at least one year and 65 days prior to the date of the instant Complaint in this action and are continuing.
In other words, the Plaintiff is looking for the lawsuit to include individuals who performed services in the state of California of a commercial or performative nature, including singing, acting, and or performing on-camera, for any of the Defendants, or individuals whose efforts provided and/or created media content for use or potential use in Defendants’ non-scripted reality television series, American Idol.
Lawsuit Slams ‘American Idol’ For Making ‘Millions’ From ‘Uncompensated Volunteers’
According to the legal documents, the Plaintiff alleges that “American Idol” forced Class Members and Aggrieved Employees to contribute their talents to a for-profit commercial enterprise that generated millions of dollars in revenue each season while. The lawsuit said that the show illegally and willfully classified them as uncompensated volunteers and not as employees.
The Plaintiff claims that “American Idol” had excessive amounts of control over those who worked and appeared on the show, controlling their time, their schedule, where they slept, and even their ability to eat and drink when they wanted to.
For example, Defendants allegedly told class members that they were not allowed to eat during all periods that they could possibly be filmed because “eating doesn’t look good on camera,” as per the lawsuit.
The lawsuit further alleges that the “Defendants maintained a practice of willfully misclassifying these employees to deny them such protections and avoid paying them proper minimum wage, meal, and rest break premiums, and overtime pay.”
In order to profit from these performers, the court papers state that “American Idol” forced performers to enter contracts that stated that each entertainer’s performance “shall not be deemed to be a performance and is not employment.”
The Plaintiff alleges that Class Members had to work “14 hours per day or more, for up to eight days in a row, while refusing to pay them at all, for any of this work performed.”
Lawsuit Seeks Overtime Compensation, Unpaid Wages, and More
The Plaintiff is looking for Class Members and Aggrieved Employees to be financial compensation for their work. The class action lawsuit is seeking unpaid overtime compensation, unpaid minimum wages, waiting time penalties, statutory penalties, restitution, declaratory and injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees and costs, prejudgment interest, and other appropriately relief as a result of the violations set forth herein.
The lawsuit also seems to encompass Class Members who might not have made it past the audition round. The lawsuit claims that some class members had to “purchase or provide additional business-related resources or services without reimbursement.”
According to the court documents, someone on the show instructed one contestant auditioning for the show to drive home so she could retrieve a purse shaped like a carrot and show it to the judges.
The Plaintiff claims that she was not reimbursed for the mileage, the use of the purse, or other expenses incurred as a result of using her personal vehicle.