David Copperfield Will Pay $552,000

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – Magician David Copperfield agreed to pay $552,282.74 to settle an employment class action arising from his magic act at the MGM Grand Casino.
     U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Monday approved a motion defining the settlement class and set a settlement hearing for May 26.
     Both sides have agreed to a preliminary settlement of $268,089.23 for class members, $140,600 for named plaintiffs and $143,593.51 in attorney’s fees.
     The class consists of all current and former employees of defendant Backstage Employment and Referral and who worked between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2013.
     The class performed services directly for Copperfield’s magic show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino or as executive assistants to Copperfield.
     Navarro ordered Jakub Medrala of Donath & Medrala to represent the class.
     In its Feb. 15, 2014 complaint, the class sought compensation for unpaid overtime. Copperfield was the lead defendant. Also sued were Backstage Employment, Christopher Kenner, David Copperfield’s Disappearing Act, and Imagine Nation.
     The class accused them of violating overtime law, retaliation, civil conspiracy and abuse of process.
     Copperfield claimed the Creative Professional Exemption excluded class members from overtime provisions.
     The settlement amount was determined by dividing the class into assistants, magic lab workers, and stagehands. The assistants were determined to have worked 16.5 hours of overtime, magic lab workers 15 hours and stagehands 11 hours during each applicable week.
     The settlement would pay each of 57 class members an average $6,355.84 for overtime pay and liquidated damages.
     Under the settlement terms, Copperfield and other defendants continue to deny liability, while settling class members agree to release all claims in the matter.

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