Cut the check, please! True Entertainment, the company responsible for BRAVO’s hit show Real Housewives of Atlanta, has been ordered to pay $411,000 to hundreds of employees in a settlement with New York State.
According to a report, the office of attorney general said the settlement was restitution, as they failed to pay overtime despite some employees working 50 and as much as 72 hours per week.
True Entertainment has also agreed to a compliance regime. The office of the attorney general says the investigation discovered that the workers were paid weekly or daily salaries with no premium for work over 40 hours and without keeping accurate records of the hours they had worked.
The state has exemptions from overtime for professional employees or high-level, high-paid execs, however, that did not apply to the workers.
The restitution will go to production assistants, associate producers and workers
who performed equivalent tasks.
True Entertainment has released the following statement:
True Entertainment has been a top creator of TV programming for nearly 17 years, and for every one of those years has compensated its employees fairly and competitively, with many employees having worked at True for more than a decade,” said the company in response to the announced settlement. “In fact, True Entertainment employees receive fair and competitive compensation, and benefits including, for example, health insurance and paid time off. In this case, the company classified a small number of people as creative employees, exempt from overtime compensation, under applicable federal and state laws. The New York State Attorney General did not agree; thus, we reached an amicable settlement of the issue with the Attorney General. We greatly value our employees at True Entertainment, and look forward to continuing to focus on creating and producing high quality programming for our network partners.