For Immediate Release
Seattle Office of Labor Standards
Reaches Settlement with Bold Hat Productions, Inc. for Misclassification of Interns
Nearly $30,000 Recovered for Alleged Violations of Minimum Wage, Wage Theft, and Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinances
Seattle, WA (February 1, 2023) – The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) investigated Bold Hat Productions, Inc. for alleged violations of the Minimum Wage, Wage Theft, and Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinances. Under the settlement with OLS, Bold Hat Productions, Inc. agreed to pay a total financial remedy of $29,773.10 for two employees for back wages, interest, liquidated damages, and civil penalties.
OLS alleged Bold Hat Productions, Inc. misclassified employees as unpaid interns while they were performing duties as employees. The employees were not paid for hours worked, and thus did not receive the required minimum wage or overtime payments.
“This settlement is a big win for not just me but all workers, especially student workers. A lot of people are taken advantage of in their workplace simply because they’re not aware of their rights. Students like me always struggle to gain work experience and it is a shame that employers take this opportunity to get free labor,” said Monica Lopez-Perez, who worked for Bold Hat Productions. “There’s a big difference between being an unpaid intern and being an employee. This settlement proves that workers can speak up for themselves without fear of losing their jobs or not being able to find future work.”
“This is a unique investigation for OLS in that the focus was the misclassification of employees as unpaid interns. Although this type of settlement does not occur often, it is important for Seattle workers and businesses to learn about the rights and responsibilities that Seattle’s labor standards require for internship programs,” said OLS Director Steven Marchese.
Bold Hat Productions, Inc. agreed to take management training, maintain payroll records for all employees, and establish a time-keeping system to track all hours worked by employees and employee interns.
“We have reached a negotiated settlement with no admission of fault to put this matter behind us and continue to focus on building events that bring our community together and raise funds for local non-profits,” said Phil Megenhardt, Bold Hat Productions president and creative director.
Bold Hat Productions, Inc. is an event production and marketing company with one location in Seattle that employs approximately 10 employees and regularly hires more than 50 paid volunteers to put on events.
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