CBS TV Studios Denies Assistants’ Hours Are Being Cut Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Nellie Andreeva

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Production assistants working for showrunners and producers under term deals at CBS TV Studios got some bad news this morning in the form of an email informing them that their weekly hours are being cut retroactively from 52 to 40 a week. That email spurred a flurry of activity, with assistants sharing their plight on social media.

It also triggered a response from the studio, with CBS TV Studios’ SVP and head of Human Resources Ellen Goldsmith sending a followup email to the assistants assuring them that their hours remain intact.

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“It was a mistake and it has been corrected,” a CBS Studios spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline.

In her email, Goldsmith said that “there are no plans” to cap assistants’ hours at 40, and they will be paid overtime for the extra 12 hours a week. Here is her letter:

Hello all-

I hope this email finds you safe and well. I am writing to you to clarify and correct the email sent to you this morning regarding your compensation.

Currently, there are no plans to limit or cap your working hours to 40 hours per week. We are continuing to require written pre-approval for any hours worked in excess of 52 hours per week.

You will always be paid in accordance with applicable law, including overtime for hours worked (in California, after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week).

To be clear, there has been no instruction or intention to reduce your pay for hours worked retroactively.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly. We apologize for any confusion caused by the earlier email.

We look forward to getting back to regular production as soon as possible.

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