The company was accused of failing to pay overtime to production assistants and associate producers, who sometimes worked 50 to 80 hours a week. The settlement covers workers dating back to January 2009.
The settlement is the third involving such allegations against New York-based reality TV production companies. The office previously reached a settlement with Sharp Entertainment, the producers of “Man v. Food,” and with True Entertainment, which produced “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” True Entertainment and Original Media have since merged to form Truly Original.
The Writers Guild of America East has drawn attention to misclassification of workers in the reality TV industry as part of an organizing campaign. Truly Original is non-union.
“We are pleased the Attorney General has taken action and won real justice for the Associate Producers employed by Original Media / Truly Original, people who were deprived of overtime pay despite their grueling work schedules,” said Lowell Peterson, the executive director of the union, in a statement. “Writer-producers working together, combined with vigorous law enforcement by the AG, are sending a powerful message to nonfiction TV production companies: wage theft is not the way to do business.”
In a release, Attorney General Barbara Underwood said the office would continue to pursue wage allegations against other producers.