New York Fashion Week producers William Morris Endeavor ("WME") and IMG have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit filed against them in March 2015 on the heels of February's Fall/Winter 2015 shows. According to the proposed class action suit, which was filed by Brian Davis, a member of NYFW's "House Crew," WME/IMG failed to adequately pay him and other crew members for their work on the bi-annual fashion events.
Davis claimed in his complaint that for six week periods leading up to the runway shows, he and fellow NYFW crew members "regularly worked over 100 hours per week without ever receiving premium overtime pay" of one and one-half time the regular rate. Their tasks reportedly consisted of "handling the logistics of Fashion Week including providing support to vendors and contractors; managing the delivery, warehousing and disbursement of supplies; and managing the delivery, setting up and breaking down of furniture and barricades."
As of this week, WME/IMG has agreed to pay out $560,000 to end the lawsuit. The settlement agreement provides “significant relief” to the 82 class members “in a prompt and efficient manner” and avoids a trial that would be costly for both parties, as reported by Law360. “The $560,000 settlement amount represents substantial value given the risks of litigation, even though the recovery could be greater if plaintiffs prevailed." The settlement includes up to $110,000 of court-approved attorney’s fees, up to $10,000 in claims administrator’s fees, a $10,000 reserve fund and half of the employer’s payroll taxes.