Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jon Plus Kate Labor Law Violations??

On May 29, 2009 Workplace Prof Blog raised an interesting legal issue. Whether the children on the reality TV show, Jon plus Kate are working. If they are, FLSA child labor law requirements kick in. The issue in my mind boils down to whether or not they are employees of the TV show. Since they are getting paid and not doing this for their health, my view is that they are employees.
The FLSA applies an economic reality test to determine employment status. The defintion of employee and employ under the FLSA is broader than under most other employment law statutes.  The family is filmed at certain times and that is all probably planned out. In other words, the show is directed their work-at least to some degree.
However, this is really a relatively novel question and would make a great law review article.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Employment Law, Law Review Ideas | Permalink

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I wondered in 2000 while watching an early "Big Brother" reality show whether the producer's minor compensation for the participants ($350 per week) was a minimum wage/overtime violation. See "Big Brother's Sweatshop" at online.

At that time, I talked to an assistant labor commissioner in California. The Labor Commissioner would take a wage claim, they said, if anyone filed a complaint....

Posted by: kent | Jun 1, 2009 3:52:21 PM

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