Courtney Love Hit With Overtime Pay Suit

Hole front-woman and former wife of Kurt Cobain Courtney Love has just been hit with an overtime suit in Los Angeles Superior Court this week, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. The suit was filed by a former administrative assistant who claims Love refused to pay wages, business expenses and overtime during her year of work for the singer. This case marks the third overtime lawsuit against a major celebrity in as many months, following the suits against Celine Dion and Sharon Stone this summer.
The complaint filed this week alleges that Courtney Love refused to pay her assistant overtime, reasonable business expenses and back wages. Jessica Labrie v. Courtney Love Cobain also sets out claims of violation of the employment contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. Labrie claims that she began work for Love in June 2010 after promises that the singer would pay her college tuition and eventually get her a job at her music management company, among other promises. Labrie claims that Love never fulfilled any of her promises and in fact harassed and discriminated against her from June 2010 to June 2011.
Labrie’s overtime claims are premised on the fact that Love had her work over 60 hours a week without paying her overtime at time and a half. Under California Labor Law §510, employers must pay their employees time and a half for all hours worked over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. There are very few exceptions to this rule, such as for workers who are independent contractors and those who are professional, managerial or outside sales representatives. As Labrie here would not be found to fit within any of these exceptions, Love probably violated the labor code in refusing to pay her overtime for her work.
Labrie claims that she “often” worked over 60 hours a week for Love. Considering her purported salary of $30 an hour plus benefits, Love may be facing over $25,000 in unpaid overtime. Labrie also claims that Love refused to pay her wages for a number of weeks before she quit, which would add to the total amount due. One article in Salon estimates Love’s liability at over $30,000, which Is not too far-fetched. Add penalties and attorneys’ fees and Love may have to pay tens of thousands more. Love may also be forced to pay punitive damages if her refusal to pay back wages was willful, under California Labor Code §201. Labrie claims that Love also refused to pay her reasonable business expenses for required travel, adding to the total claim.
This suit is not the only one Love is currently facing. The troubled singer was hit last month with an over $500,000 suit for unpaid attorneys’ fees, according to the Rolling Stone. Labrie in her suit also claimed that Love pressured her to perform illegal activities such as hire a computer hacker and forge legal documents. While these are mere allegations, they definitely seem to demonstrate that Love may be facing more than just money troubles. Regardless of the high-profile nature of Love’s overtime scandal, this issue is certainly one that many workers are facing across the nation. With the rise of wage theft across the country, it seems clear that even A-list celebrities have gotten into the business of wage exploitation.

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