×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sharp Entertainment Sets $226,000 Settlement With New York State Over Overtime Pay

Sharp Entertainment has reached a $226,000 settlement with the state of New York over overtime pay due to production staffers who worked on the company’s roster of unscripted series.

The agreement calls for Sharp to distribute the back pay to production assistants and associate producers who were wrongly denied overtime pay while working ore than 40 hours a week for the company that is home to such series as Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food” and A&E Network’s “Bad Ink.”

The company was accused of inaccurately classifying certain production staffers as exempt from New York state’s overtime pay rules despite job duties and pay scales that fell into the category of qualifying for overtime pay. Sharp Entertainment maintains that its compensation formulas were designed to ensure that employees would receive a regular weekly paycheck even in the face of “uncertain production schedules” on many shows.

The settlement was unveiled Wednesday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman’s office reached a similar settlement for $411,000 in December 2016 with another unscripted production banner, True Entertainment.

“Employees deserve fair pay for their work – period. Our overtime laws are meant to guarantee that employees are fairly compensated for their long hours,” said Schneiderman. “To date we’ve already won back over $630,000 for TV production workers in New York – and my office will continue to act to protect workers’ fundamental rights.”

The settlement calls for Sharp to distribute the funds to an undisclosed number of staffers as back pay. Going forward, Sharp’s payroll practices will be monitored by the Attorney General’s office. The company is required to disclose to employees in writing whether they are exempt or non-exempt from overtime rules. Production staffers who make less than $1,923 a week will be notified as to their eligibility for overtime payments.

Here is Sharp Entertainment’s full statement on the settlement.

“Over the last 15 years, Sharp Entertainment has employed thousands of employees in creating dozens of hit television shows. Every one of these employees has been paid fairly, competitively, and legally, and has received industry-leading health insurance benefits, vacation leave, holiday pay and other benefits.  Several years ago, the New York State Attorney General began looking at an industry-wide practice of paying certain production employees a weekly wage based on their status as “creative employees.” Producers like Sharp paid such employees a weekly amount not to save money, but to ensure each employee received a regular weekly pay check well in excess of the minimum wage, despite uncertain production schedules.

“The Attorney General, however, concluded that a small number of these employees are not “creative” enough to be paid weekly.  Needless to say, knowing what its employees do to create original television series, Sharp disagrees; and no court or governmental agency has ever come to the same conclusion as the Attorney General.  Nevertheless, several years ago, Sharp began paying these employees on an hourly basis, which did not materially impact their overall compensation because they previously had been paid a substantial and very competitive weekly amount.  In light of this change, rather than continue our disagreement with the Attorney General over whether certain employees are ‘creative,’ Sharp agreed to resolve the investigation amicably to enable all of its valued employees to concentrate fully on producing quality television shows.”

More TV

  • Khloe KardashianKhloe Kardashian, Emma Grede and

    Khloe Kardashian To 'Bachelor' Creator: 'Stop Or You Will Be Hearing From My Lawyers'

    UPDATE: Khloe Kardashian slams “Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss’ claims she could be the next “Bachelorette.” And her sister Kim Kardashian West has her back. I’m not fucking clickbait right now. Stop or you will be hearing from my lawyers. How insensitive!! https://t.co/vTKi83nLUJ — Khloé (@khloekardashian) February 24, 2019 The time has come to choose a [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content