She’s Driving Me Gaga: the Lady Learns a Hard FLSA Lesson

Employment Law Newsletter

Lady Gaga’s formal personal assistant (and former personal friend) has filed suit against the pop star for violation of the overtime payment requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires overtime payment for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours to employees who are not exempt from the FLSA’s overtime mandate. The assistant claims that she was on duty 24 hours a day to attend to the Lady Gaga’s every personal need, without the benefits of breaks or even time to sleep. Contrary to a common misperception among employers, the fact that the assistant was paid on a salaried basis is immaterial to the question of whether or not she qualifies as an exempt employee under the FLSA – an unlikely prospect given the nature of her job duties. Lady Gaga could be looking at significant liability because under the FLSA, a prevailing employee is entitled to 2 times the amount of unpaid wages due in the preceding 2- or 3-year period, plus interest and attorney fees, which often eclipse the unpaid overtime.

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