Eight writers on E!'s reality show "Fashion Police" on Wednesday filed a claim with state labor officials alleging that they're not being fairly compensated for the hours they've been working.
"The most I've been paid for a show has been for eight hours of work," said "Fashion Police" writer Eliza Skinner. "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."
"Fashion Police," which debuted in the fall of 2010, features hosts Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos commenting on celebrity fashions.
The network, which is owned by NBC/Universal, issued this statement in response to the filing: "E! values our Fashion Police writers and we pay them fairly and in full legal compliance."
The claim was filed with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. If upheld, it could result in the cable TV network having to pay more than $1 million in back wages, according to the Writers Guild of America West, which is providing legal assistance to the writers.
According to the writers, who are not working under a guild contract, "Fashion Police" ignores the California laws that require an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all time worked in an eight-hour period. In addition, the law requires paying overtime for employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek.
"We love writing for 'Fashion Police,' but the company needs to do the right thing and pay us fairly for all the hard work and time we put into it," said writer Bryan Cook. "We've helped make it one of the network's top-rated shows and E! needs to start treating us like professional writers."
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