It sounds like a dream job. You finally get the call to work as a professional driver for a famous television celebrity during a Hollywood production. You show up, ready to work, and do whatever is required of you, including working 19 hours a day to please your employer. Then, after the production is complete, you wait to be compensated for the work you have done. As days and days go by with no money and no, meaningful, response to your requests, that dream starts to become a nightmare. Your demands for payment go unanswered for some time. As you become increasingly more frustrated, you have no choice but to hire an Employment Lawyer to manage your wage dispute, protect your rights, and get you paid what you have earned from this mega-star.
While these allegations may sound like the plot of television show, they are, in fact, the claims of two drivers who were forced to take, former That 70’s Show star, Wilmer Valderrama to Federal Court in California, in order to get paid, last month. While the case has since settled, with a favorable resolution to the the employees, Valderrama’s team raised every possible defense along the way, including the fact that the drivers were not his “employees” but independent contractors and, therefore, were only entitled to base pay with no overtime for the 19 hour, sleepless shifts they dedicated to serving the TV actor’s needs.
While it may seem remarkable that hard working employees, who do everything required and requested of them, in the course of their employment have to retain skilled attorneys to protect their rights against employers, celebrity or otherwise, it is, sadly, an all too common an occurrence. The defenses raised by Valderrama are not limited to celebrity employers. All across the country employers of every size, and in every industry, are taking advantage of hard working employees every day. When these employers are called to task on this behavior so many of them attempt to defend their actions through unsupported claims and defenses. It is, often, only through the intervention of experienced Employment Law Firms that hard working employees, eventually, receive what they duly entitled to.
If you, or someone you know has suffered from minimum wage issues, it is important that they immediately contact an experienced Employment Attorney. A qualified attorney can help employees stand up for their rights and recover compensation for their lost wages.