Class action claims Disney stiffed financial analysts on overtime

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Class action claims Disney stiffed financial analysts on overtime

Sat Sep 04, 2010 @ 08:00AM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Mickeymouse UPDATED POST

EXCLUSIVE: Some of the Disney employees who make sure A-list stars get paid accurately by the studio are now suing claiming—yes, you guessed it—that they weren't paid accurately by the studio. 

A class action has been filed on behalf of 36 financial analysts and contract researchers in the participations, royalties and residuals department at Walt Disney Pictures alleging the studio denied them proper overtime wages during a six-year period between July 2004 and August 2010. 

Lead plaintiffs Joseph Peralta and Pamela Ventura claim on behalf of the 36 salaried workers that they were inaccurately labeled as "exempt" under California labor law and denied overtime even though they worked more than 40 hours a week. The employees, "although performing non-exempt functions for the [studio], were misclassified as exempt employees and not paid overtime compensation," according to the complaint, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.   

Class action wage-and-hour cases against studios aren't uncommon. But in our experience they're typically filed by workers in blue collar positions, not higher-paying analyst jobs like in this case. We've reached out to Disney for comment and will update with a response. 

UPDATE: This post originally listed the proposed class members included in the complaint but some of them have contacted us saying they do not wish to be named and were unaware of the class action before it was filed, so we've taken their names out and changed a sentence that said the proposed class members "banded together."

    

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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