UPDATE, 1:09 PM: E! has responded to the claims that Fashion Police writers have made to the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office that the network owes them more than $1 million in back wages. “E! values our Fashion Police writers and we pay them fairly and in full legal compliance,” the network said today. The WGA West helped the reality TV scribes with the filing to the DLSE against the non-unionized show.
PREVIOUSLY, 11:38 AM: E!’s Joan Rivers-hosted fashion-dish panel show Fashion Police ran afoul of California law by not compensating its writers for all of the regular and overtime hours they’ve worked, according to a filing with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office. Though the show is not unionized, the WGA West helped the writers with the legal paperwork and sent out this release today:
Los Angeles – Writers on E!’s Fashion Police filed claims today with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) that could result in the cable TV network having to pay more than one million dollars in back wages. The writers allege that E! has broken state labor law by not compensating them for all of the regular and overtime hours they’ve worked.
According to the writers, Fashion Police ignores the California laws that require an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all time worked in an eight-hour period. In addition, the law requires paying overtime for employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek.
“The most I’ve been paid for a show has been for eight hours of work,” said Fashion Police writer Eliza Skinner. “In reality, I put in anywhere from 12 to 32 additional hours on each show – time I should have been compensated for. On top of that is all the unpaid overtime we regularly work. There are some shows where we are required to work 16-hour days, from 2:30 p.m. until around 5:30 the following morning.”
“We love writing for Fashion Police, but the company needs to do the right thing and pay us fairly for all the hard work and time we put into it,” said writer Bryan Cook. “We’ve helped make it one of the network’s top-rated shows and E! needs to start treating us like professional writers.”
Writers Guild of America, West has provided legal assistance to the writers in their filings.