Jennifer O’Neill, former personal assistant to entertainer Lady Gaga, is one step closer to getting her day in court. She claims Mother Monster kept her on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for over a year. Her lawsuit seeks overtime pay for every hour of each of those days.
O’Neill claims Lady Gaga required her to have her phone with her at all times and forced her to sleep in the pop diva’s hotel room while touring so she was always available to handle such mundane tasks as changing DVDs.
Lady Gaga and her production company, Mermaid Touring, moved to have O’Neill’s overtime claims dismissed, claiming she was entitled to pay only for the time she actually worked. Lady Gaga and Mermaid also asked the judge to only order whatever overtime pay was due on a flexible workweek basis, which would only entitle O’Neill to half time for all hours over 40. The judge rejected both motions.
Lady Gaga did have one small victory: The judge agreed that work performed outside the state would not be subject to New York state law. Absent a settlement, the case will go to trial.