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Joan Rivers

Joan RiversJoan Rivers’ production company, Rugby Productions, is in trouble with the Writers Guild of America. Her program “Fashion Police” has been busted by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW).

They are coming under fire for violating California labor law according to a press release sent out Wednesday by the WGAW.

From the release: “Fashion Police” writers hired by Rivers to work on the show filed claims today with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) alleging that they are owed payment for back wages. The headaches are growing for the highly rated program. Last week, writers on the show employed by E! filed similar complaints against the cable network. The new claims add more than $400,000 to the already $1.1 million writers are asking for in their filings with the State.

“Throughout our history, prominent members of the Guild have stood up for their fellow writers to ensure they are treated fairly and compensated properly,” said WGAW President Chris Keyser. “Unfortunately, this has not been the case with Ms. Rivers.”

The writers claimed the Joan Rivers production company violated California laws that require an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all time worked in an eight-hour period. The law also requires the payment of overtime for work in excess of eight hours in any workday or 40 hours in any workweek. The DLSE will hold hearings to determine if E! Network and Rugby Productions are liable to the writers for back pay and penalties.

The Writers Guild of America, West is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio, and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. They also negotiate and administer contracts on behalf of their members.

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