E! ‘Fashion Police’ Writers Add Joan Rivers’ Company to Pay Complaint

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Eight writers, who say they are owed $1.5M in wages and overtime, add the host's production company to their complaint

Now it’s Joan Rivers‘ production company, Rugby Productions, that is coming under fire for allegedly violating California labor law.

"Fashion Police" writers hired by Rivers to work on the show filed claims Wednesday with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement alleging that they are owed payment for back wages.

Also read: E!'s 'Fashion Police' Writers Claim They're Not Getting Paid

“Throughout our history, prominent members of the Guild have stood up for their fellow writers to ensure they are treated fairly and compensated properly,” said Writers Guild of America West President Chris Keyser. “Unfortunately, this has not been the case with Ms. Rivers.”  The WGA is providing legal assistance to the writers.

Last week, eight writers on the show employed by E! filed similar complaints against the cable network. The new claims add more than $400,000 to the already $1.1 million writers are asking for in their filings with the State.

Rivers had not seen the claim and had no comment, a spokeswoman told TheWrap Wednesday.

Also read: Reality TV: The Invisible Front in Hollywood's Labor Wars

The writers are claiming that "Fashion Police" violated California laws that require an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all time worked in an eight-hour period. The law also requires the payment of overtime for work in excess of eight hours in any workday or 40 hours in any workweek.

The Division of Labor Standards can hold hearings to determine if E! Network and Rugby Productions are liable to the writers for back pay and penalties. 

"Fashion Police," which debuted in the fall of 2010, features hosts Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos commenting on celebrity fashions.

E! is owned by NBC/Universal.