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Fashion Week Crew Sues for Unpaid Overtime

(CN) - The managers of New York Fashion Week deny crew members compensation for working overtime, a federal class action alleges.

Brian Davis is the lead plaintiff behind the March 23 complaint in Manhattan against the talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC and its entertainment subsidiaries, IMG Worldwide and IMG Models.

As a member of Fashion Week's House Crew from 2007 to 2014, Davis and his co-workers managed the delivery and storage of supplies; provided support to vendors and contractors; and set up and broke down barricades and furniture.

Going on eight years, Davis, a resident of Rockland County, says he has devoted six weeks a year helping the defendants put on a semi-annual showcase of fall and spring clothing collections.

Fashion week runs for about seven to nine days every February and September, and Davis allegedly belongs to the "House Crew" responsible for setting up and breaking down the events, along with other logistical needs.

Every year since late January 2007 the defendants have hired Davis at a rate of $30 an hour, but failed to pay him overtime for weeks in which he works more than 40 hours.

Davis says he "regularly worked over 100 hours per week without ever receiving premium overtime pay" of one and one-half time the regular rate.

He did receive "a 'bonus check to raise plaintiff's average hourly rate to the regular rate for all hours worked during that Fashion Week period," according to the complaint.

Days lasting "approximately between 60 and 110 hours per week" were typical between August 2009 and March 2014, the complaint continues.

The class seeks damages for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.

It is represented by Troy Kessler of Shulman Kessler in Melville, N.Y.

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