CWS 3.0: October 9, 2013

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Freelancer Claims The Hollywood Reporter Misclassified Him

The publisher of The Hollywood Reporter was sued by a worker claiming he was misclassified as an independent contractor. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks unpaid overtime, pay for rest and meal breaks and reimbursement for expenses such as smart phones that were required by the publisher. The suit also seeks class action status.

Named plaintiff David Simpson claims he worked four years as a “freelancer” at The Hollywood Reporter, owned by Prometheus Global Media LLC, in Los Angeles. He worked as an assistant editor social media and video coordinator, and his duties primarily included posting video content onto the Web.

The lawsuit claims Simpson and other freelancers were required to work out of the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; were provided a work space, computer, email and direct-dial phone; were required to attend mandatory meetings; were supervised by the same manager as employees; and were subject to the same discipline policies as employees.

It’s believe the class may include more than 40 people, according to the lawsuit. In addition to The Hollywood Reporter, Prometheus also publishes Billboard, Back Stage and Adweek magazines.

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