A new lawsuit claims that management for the high-priced VIP area of the most well-known festivals in the United States improperly paid their workers for years.
Notoriety Group is the management company responsible for “curating and managing the experience for the main stage VIP SkyDeck tables at Electric Zoo Festival since 2015,” according to their website.
The lawsuit – filed by a plaintiff but seeking class action status for tipped workers – alleges a raft of labor and pay violations against federal and New York state law, including that Notoriety Group failed to pay proper minimum wage or “spread-of-hours premiums.” The plaintiff alleges that workers were only paid in tips, which were improperly withheld in a tip-sharing pool.
The plaintiff also alleges that “to accomplish their business goals, Defendants: (i) mis-classify their servers – including Plaintiff – as independent contractors; (ii) fail to pay their servers – including Plaintiff – any wages, under the [Fair Labour Standards Act and New York Labor Law]; and (iii) maintain an illegal policy and practice of appropriating their servers’ – including Plaintiff’s – tipped wages.”
5 Mag has not independently verified the charges and no finding of guilt has been entered. An email to Notoriety Group requesting comment on the lawsuit was not returned. A video posted on the front page of the company’s website show two of the named defendants as hosts of the “SkyDeck VIP table experience.”
According to a ticketing site, “main stage VIP packages” for “Electric Zoo Supernaturals” in 2021, which are still linked from the company’s website, begin at $5000 and escalate to “King of The Jungle” tier of $100,000.
The lawsuit names Notoriety Group and three individual owners as defendants and seeks class action status for non-exempt employees who worked for Notoriety Group. The initial plaintiff in the case claims to have worked for the company at Electric Zoo Festival in New York in 2019 and 2021 and at a private event called “House of Love” in Miami, Florida on New Year’s Eve.
The lawsuit, Kuan vs. Notoriety Group, Anthony Shnayderman, Nathan Leong & Niv Shaked, was filed on February 25 2022 in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit was initially reported by and the complaint can be read in its entirety at classaction.org.