Ten former contestants on "American Idol" have filed a lawsuit against the producers of the program popular in Wisconsin and elsewhere, alleging that they were victims of racial discrimination in terms of their alleged employment contracts with the company. The former contestants have received the "right to sue" letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that is necessary before an employment discrimination lawsuit can proceed.
There are several hurdles that the plaintiffs must overcome before proving employment discrimination. They first need to show that they were were employees of the program. The producers claim that the plaintiffs were never employees but rather volunteers who were licensing their names and likenesses. However, one of the plaintiffs has documents from the show, including payroll information, referring to him as an employee. The plaintiffs are also required to show that the discrimination took place within 300 days of the complaint being filed.
Employment law attorneys may be able to assist individuals who are discriminated against because of their race, sex, religion, color or national origin. They also may be able to suggest alternative remedies that may be available.
Source: ABC News, "'American Idol' Discrimination Suit Moves Forward", Luchina Fisher, September 23, 2013