When it comes to working odd hours, there are few jobs more demanding than that of the personal assistant; especially the assistants of major celebrities or other busy and powerful individuals. Yet even assistants who are on call 24 hours a day are usually still eligible for overtime pay and other important benefits.
Broward County residents who are fans of Lady Gaga may be surprised to hear that one of her former personal assistants is suing the pop star for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The woman says that despite her grueling schedule that regularly had her working more than 40 hours per week, she did not receive overtime pay.
In the lawsuit, which was filed in New York last month, the former personal assistant seeks more than $379,000 in owed overtime pay. She reportedly worked for Lady Gaga in the early part of 2009, then again from Feb. 2010 through March 2011. Her salary was $75,000 per year.
Just how much overtime did she work? She says she was kept busy around the clock, "from the earliest working hour, for being responsive to the slightest need throughout the day, and for addressing spontaneous random matters in the middle of the night."
The lawsuit states: "Plaintiff was always behind the scenes and figuratively, if not literally, always at [Lady Gaga's] side."
The role of the personal assistant is an incredibly important one. It is often their hard work and careful attention to detail that allows corporate CEOs and celebrities to fulfill their many obligations. Unfortunately, as this lawsuit seems to demonstrate, personal assistants are frequently taken for granted.
Source: Business Insurance, "OFF BEAT: Lady Gaga's former personal assistant sues pop star for overtime pay," Jan. 5, 2012