In August, TV star Tracee Ellis Ross was hit with a $300,000 lawsuit by her ex-assistant, who claimed the actress failed to pay her proper wages.
Samantha Wilkins accused Ross of having her work substantial overtime and then not paying her for it. According to Wilkins’ lawyer, Ross “failed to pay” Wilkins and Ross, in turn, owed “approximately $300,000.00 in wages and penalties.”
But now Wilkins has dropped the suit against the former “black-ish” star and daughter of R&B legend Diana Ross.
According to court documents, Wilkins has told the court she is dropping all claims against the actress and her company Joy Mill Entertainment, RadarOnline.com reported.
Inside the Lawsuit
In the court papers, Wilkins said she worked for Ross from November 2019 to July 2021, initially making $25 per hour plus overtime. In December 2019, Ross classified Wilkins as an exempt employee and, instead of an hourly rate, paid her a salary of $70,000. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for all hours over 40.
Then in early 2020, Ross gave Wilkins a pay raise to $100,000. And Wilkins said she was still classified as a non-exempt employee and was entitled to overtime. But Ross reportedly did not give her overtime pay.
By November 2020, Wilkins claimed Ross and her company “finally corrected” her employment status and began paying her as an hourly, non-exempt employee. “Therefore, from December 19, 2019, to November 24, 2020, Defendants misclassified Wilkins employment and treated her as a non-exempt employee,” said the lawsuit.
Wilkins said she regularly worked 12 hour-plus days, seven days a week. And she said Ross “regularly denied meal and rest breaks” to her, which violated California Labor Codes.
Ross, who asked the court to dismiss the case, denied all claims.
End of the Suit
Although Wilkins has dropped the suit, there is no word on if a settlement was reached and if so what it entailed.
Ross is worth an estimated $16 million, having earned a reported $200,000 per episode on “black-ish,” which aired for eight seasons from September 24, 2014, to April 19, 2022. Ross also owns the natural hair-care line Pattern Beauty.