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Ex-Assistant Sues Lady Gaga for $379,000

MANHATTAN (CN) - Lady Gaga's former personal assistant claims the pop diva's touring company owes her $379,000 for overtime during the more than a year when the assistant was "figuratively, if not literally, always at her side."

Jennifer O'Neill sued Mermaid Touring Inc. in Federal Court.

The head of Mermaid Touring is Joseph Germanotta, the father of Lady Gaga (Stephanie Germanotta), according to corporationwiki.com.

In her complaint, which does not mention either Germanotta, O'Neill says: "Plaintiff worked as a personal assistant to defendant's principal, an internationally recognized entertainer and pop singer-songwriter. As such, she attended to the principal's needs not only in her home, but also during her travels for her global concert tours, from city to city throughout the world, at locales including stadiums, private jets, fine hotel suites, yachts, ferries, trains and tour buses. Plaintiff was always behind the scenes, and figuratively, if not literally, always at her side."

O'Neill says she worked for Mermaid doe 4 weeks in early 2009 and "52 weeks from February 5, 2010 through March 2, 2011." [Sic.]

For this, she says, she "received a weekly salary of $1,000 per week in early 2009, and an annual salary of $75,000 from February 5, 2010 through March 5, 2011."

But she says, "Upon information and belief, defendant failed to maintain any records of the hours worked by plaintiff."

She says she should have been paid overtime: "Plaintiff's job duties did not involve exercising discretion over matters of significance. For example, her primary job duties included, but were not limited to, confirming defendant principal's schedule with said principal; reviewing and reconciling defendant's credit card statements; ordering meals and ensuring that they were correctly prepared and served at specific times; maintaining the principal's personal supplies; ensuring the availability of chosen outfits; ensuring the promptness of a towel following a shower; and serving as a personal alarm clock to keep defendant's principal on schedule.

"Plaintiff regularly worked more than forty hours in a workweek but did not receive premium pay for the hours worked in excess of forty hours.

"Specifically, in lending assistance to defendant in routine and mundane everyday matters, plaintiff was on duty during all hours of each twenty-four (24) day [sic], with no entitlement to breaks, for meals or otherwise, or, at times, even sleep. Plaintiff was responsible for maintaining defendant's principal on her desired schedule from the earliest waking hour, for being responsive to the slightest need throughout the day, and for addressing spontaneous, random matters in the middle of the night. In sum, she was expected to be working and/or on call every hour of every day."

O'Neill says she "worked 512 overtime hours in early 2009 for which she was not compensated, and 6,656 overtime hours from February 5, 2010 through March 5, 2011 for which she was not compensated."

She adds: "Defendant failed to provide plaintiff with additional pay for hours worked in excess of 10 hours per day."

O'Neill seeks $379,156 in unpaid wages, "and an amount equal to those unpaid overtime wages in the form of liquidated damages, as well as attorneys' fees and costs of this action."

She is represented by Virginia Trunkes with Snitow Kanfer Holtzer & Millus.

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