Happy New Year to everyone. 2012 begins with more weird stuff in the employment world, which is actually pretty normal.
Lady Gaga sued for overtime. In New York, Lady Gaga has been sued by her ex-personal assistant for overtime. Jenifer O'Neill sued Mermaid Touring, Inc, Lady Gaga's company, on December 14, 2011, seeking almost $380,000 in unpaid overtime for 4 weeks in 2009 and 52 weeks in 2010 and 2011. The allegations in the suit are Ms. O'Neill was responsible for attending to Lady Gaga'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." Her job duties included confirming Lady Gaga's schedule, reviewing and reconciling her 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 [Lady Gaga] on schedule". Ms. O'Neill is alleging that she was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week: she was responsible for "maintaining [Lady Gaga] 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." O'Neill was paid a salary of $75,000 per year. This lawsuit sheds some light into the glamorous life of a pop star, and it will be interesting to see how it is resolved.
President Obama announces 3 recess appointments to NLRB. On a more serious note, the NLRB issued a press release on January 4 announcing President Obama's intent to recess appoint Sharon Block(a democrat), Terence Flynn(a republican) and Richard Griffin(a democrat) to fill the 3 vacant seats on the NLRB. Ms. Block worked for Senator Kennedy, was a senior attorney at the NLRB for a number of years, and currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. Mr. Flynn is currently serving as Chief Counsel to NLRB Board Member Brian Hayes. Mr. Griffin is General Counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers. Since 1983, he has served on the board of directors for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee.
Practice pointer. These appointments will give the Board it's 5 members, 3 democrats and 2 republicans. Over the past year, the NLRB has been very active and, in my opinion, very pro-Labor. I anticipate these recess appointments will be contested, but if they stand, the NLRB will continue to be active and pro-Labor.
Did ICE Mistakenly Deport a 14 year old runaway? WFAA in Dallas broke a story this week about 14 year old Jakadrien, a 14 year old who ran away from her Dallas area home in the fall of 2010. She ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by police for theft. She provided the police a fake name, and when the name was run through the computer system, it was the name of a 22 year old illegal immigrant from Colombia, who had outstanding warrants for her arrest. ICE was called in, and although she spoke no Spanish, she was deported to Colombia. Upon her arrival in Colombia, she was provided a work card by the government and released. U.S. authorities got involved, and asked the Colombian police to pick her up. She is currently in a Colombian detention facility, and the Colombian government won't release her at this time.
Practice pointer. Although this story is just breaking and a lot of information is still sketchy, questions are being raised over how and why ICE deported a 14 year old U.S. citizen to Columbia. You can read more about it at WFAA, NY Daily News, andUSA Today.