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'Fashion Police' writers claim they are owed $1 million in back pay

April 03, 2013|By Greg Braxton
  • Joan Rivers, host of E!'s "Fashion Police," and daughter Melissa, who produces the show.
Joan Rivers, host of E!'s "Fashion Police," and daughter… (Dan Hallman / Invision/AP )

Writers on E!'s "Fashion Police" have filed claims with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement saying the series has broken state labor laws by not paying them regular and overtime hours.

The writers allege they are owed more than $1 million in back wages by E!.

"Fashion Police" features several hosts, including Joan Rivers and Kelly Osbourne, commenting on celebrity fashion. The series is produced by Rivers' daughter, Melissa.

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The complainants say that "Fashion Police" ignores state laws that require an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all time worked in an eight-hour period. In addiition, the law requires paying overtime for employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek.

"The most I've been paid for a show has been for eight hours of work," said writer Eliza Kinner in a release issued by the Writers Guild of America, West. "In reality, I put in anywhere from 12 to 32 additional hours on each show -- time I should have been compensated for. On top of that is all the unpaid overtime we regularly work. There are some shows where we are required to work 16-hour days, from 2:30 p.m. until around 5:30 the following morning."

Added writer Bryan Cook, "We've helped make ['Fashion Police'] one of the network's top-rated shows, and E! needs to start treating us like professional writers."

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Writers Guild of America, West has provided legal assistance to the writers in their filings.

E! issued a statement responding to the complaint: "E! values our 'Fashion Police' writers and we pay them fairly and in full legal compliance."


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