Former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips is suing the show’s producer and its affiliated companies in order to get out of his contract. Phillips claims that he has been manipulated by the company over the years.
Phillips filed a petition with the California Labor Commission. In his petition, he claimed that was obligated under his contracts to play gigs that did not benefit his career. For example, he claimed that he was forced to perform a free show for JetBlue. Another of Phillips’ complaints was that his production company withheld information about his career from him. He claims that he did not know what the name of his album was until the public found out. He also complained that the company received as much as 40 percent of all of his endorsement deals.
An attorney for Phillips argues that the deal he signed was oppressive to him, and although Phillips knew that American Idol gave him a great opportunity, he did not expect producers to put their own interests above those of his career. Phillips is hoping to be able to make his own choices about his career.
Phillips claims that the producers were violating the Talent Agencies Act, a California law that says that only licensed talent agents can negotiate gigs for their clients. American Idol claims that they have always acted in Phillips’ best interests, and that they will defend themselves from his baseless claims. Phillips is asking that a judge rule that the production company broke the Talent Agencies Act and pay Phillips any earnings he could have made if his contract were different.
Unfortunately, cases like this are not uncommon. Workers in many industries eagerly sign employment contracts, only to discover later that the terms weren’t quite as favorable as they thought. In some cases, getting out of the contract may not be hard, but in other cases the contracts are tight and cannot be legally broken without penalties.
If you are ever involved in an employment dispute in the Oakland-San Francisco area, you may need to hire an employment attorney. An employment attorney can help inform you on the state and federal laws at issue in your case, such as laws on wrongful termination, protections for whistleblowers, wage disputes, and more. An employment lawyer can review the merits of your complaint and advise you on the next logical step in your situation. You may choose to file a claim with a federal or state agency, negotiate a settlement, or sue in state or federal court.
If you are looking for an employment lawyer, you should ensure that the attorney has the appropriate experience, skills, knowledge, and fees. Employment laws are constantly changing, so it’s important to find an attorney who makes it a priority to stay abreast of changes in state and federal laws and regulations.