While AB 5 took the spotlight and made headlines across California for the past few years, other labor concerns largely went unnoticed including the lack of overtime pay in the entertainment industry. The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Ann Fromholz on the issue, how this went unnoticed and why employees might not have come forward.
According to Fromholz, even though formal complaints seem scarce, misclassification is common, even after a flurry of litigation more than a decade ago over failure to pay overtime and meal and rest breaks. “They’ve forced change in a lot of companies in a lot of industries,” Fromholz said, “but I still encounter companies that haven’t made changes.”
A reason for underreporting overtime could be convoluted rules and a lack of awareness. Many salaried employees are misclassified as exempt from overtime, either because certain workers don’t understand they shouldn’t be exempt, or they do and they’re afraid of complaining and losing coveted opportunities.
Overtime exemption problems are more likely to occur at smaller and mid-size companies that don’t have the same access to in-house and outside labor counsel. Fromholz commented, “It might not even be on their radar” if no one has flagged a potential misclassification issue internally to HR or filed a complaint with the state.
Read The Hollywood Reporter article here.