6:15pm PT by Alex Ben Block
'Jersey Shore' Producer Hit With Class Action Suit for Overtime Pay
A former video editor has filed a class action lawsuit against 495 Productions, the company behind Jersey Shore and other reality programs, charging it with unfair business practices and saying it failed to pay for overtime work, violated minimum wage laws and acted improperly in other ways.
The suit was filed in L.A. Superior Court on Friday by Philip J. Pucci, a Los Angeles resident who worked for 495 Productions from October 2012 through February 2013 as an assistant editor on multiple shows.
He says he was paid $1,250 per week and was only paid overtime if he worked more than 60 hours in a single week.
The suit describes what it calls “a pay scheme” that forces non-exempt employees (those who are hourly and not managers) to accept a flat salary for 60 hours of work a week. The suit says it is positioned as 40 hours plus overtime, but in reality it is a fixed salary for everyone in Pucci’s situation.
“This is done in order to make it falsely appear the defendants’ pay scheme complies with California overtime laws,” says the suit.
The suit says 495 Productions markets itself as “one of the television industry’s most formidable hit factories” and says it has a commitment to “exploring new post workflows through ‘faster-than-realtime’ and off-site capabilities.”
Other charges in the lawsuit include failure to pay the minimum wage for hours worked, failure to pay all wages in a timely manner and failure to provide accurate itemized statements to the employees.
The suit claims the number of employees in the class are “so numerous” it would not be feasible to identify all of them at the time the action was filed. It estimates there are at least 100 others impacted by the practices.
In response to a request for comment, the production company said in a statement from their attorney, Alan S. Feldman of Lydecker Diaz: “495 Productions denies any and all allegations of the complaint and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit.”