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Employee sues Daryl Cagle, Cagle Cartoons

Jim Romenesko has details on a lawsuit filed against Cagle Cartoons Inc. and Daryl Cagle by one of his employees Cari Dawson Bartley. The suit appears to be an issue of compensation.

From Romenesko:

When Plaintiff began her employment with Defendants, she was paid on an hourly basis. Over the past four (4) years, Plaintiff was paid a salary of approximately $1751.70 twice per month, which equaled $42,040.80 per year. Plaintiff?s change to a salary position was not a result of taking on more managerial type duties. In fact, as her employment progressed, Plaintiff was expected to, and did, perform more and more basic customer service, reception, and bookkeeper duties on behalf of the company.

Over the past four (4) years, Plaintiff was not paid overtime for working over eight (8) hours in a day or forty (40) hours in a week, including weekends and holidays. Plaintiff worked long hours, approximately sixty (60) to sixty-five (65) hours per week. She began receiving calls early in the morning, sometimes as early as 5:00 a.m. Plaintiff also regularly worked late into the evenings, which would be as late as 11:00 p.m. or later.

So little is known about this case, that I’m hesitant to weigh in. My understanding was that salaried employees were exempt from compensation for overtime. After reading this article, “Salaried Workers, Do You Get Overtime Pay? Odds Are You Should!” I’m standing corrected.

I find it interesting, according to that article, that cartoonists are exempt from overtime compensation. Maybe it’s so fun, it’s a compensation in and of itself? Here’s what the author wrote regarding creative employees.

Creative employees: Creative employees who are exempt include actors, musicians, composers, writers, cartoonists, and some journalists. People in this category don’t necessarily have to be paid on a salary basis to be exempt.

As to the Cagle suit, Daryl can’t comment on specifics of the lawsuit, but can confirm that Cari is still employed with the syndicate as the Executive Editor and Marketing Director and anticipates that she’ll continue in that capacity.

Community Comments

#1 Frank Hansen
May/20/2013
@ 12:22 pm

Although I don’t know any of the specifics of this case, I know a lot of people who work more than 40 hrs a week on salary with no overtime to speak of. I?m not saying that makes it okay, or that her case is like everyone else’s but in general, it is pretty common practice unfortunately

#2 birdie Birdashaw
May/20/2013
@ 9:51 pm

When I was a salaried employee for a large company, I was expected to work no less than 50 hours each week. Without overtime.

#3 Mike Peterson
May/21/2013
@ 3:24 am

Check the section headed “Administrative Duties” in that second link. Could be Daryl’s lifeline, though — and IANAL — switching someone from hourly to salaried without a change in duties is potentially problematic, depending on all sorts of things we don’t have access to.

#4 Mike Lester
May/21/2013
@ 8:55 am

Curious how the other employees -specifically the other cartoonists feel about one cartoonist being given $170,000.00? I don’t expect any of them to answer given it might jeopardize the couple hundred / mo. they earn. But it’s a fair question.

#5 John Cole
May/21/2013
@ 12:53 pm

Is there a way to read the suit w/out a login?

#6 Brian Fairrington
May/21/2013
@ 4:31 pm

Mike- where are you seeing that 170K figure?

#7 Terry LaBan
May/22/2013
@ 9:00 am

She’s making 42K, not 170k. The reason most cartoonists don’t get overtime is that they’re self-employed. And probably happy to just get paid at all.

#8 Mike Lester
May/22/2013
@ 9:26 am

“given” and “earn” were the operative words. There was an indigogo campaign that raised well over $150,000.00 (don’t remember the exact amt.) to fund one cartoonist. By any definition that’s a lot of dough. Why him? If I worked for a syndicate as a cartoonist or in sales that “gave” another cartoonist a salary he didn’t “earn”, I’d want to know what makes him so special?

#9 Donald Rex Jr.
May/22/2013
@ 12:12 pm

Talented persons go forward. Untalented persons worry endlessly about others. Are you demanding a flat rate for all cartoons paid to each cartoonist Mr Lester?

#10 Brian Fairrington
May/22/2013
@ 12:46 pm

Mike- If you are talking about the Bill Day campaign, I believe that raised about 40K minus fees, not “well over 150K or 170K.” As we saw on this board and other places, that campaign was not so popular with other cartoonists.

#11 Brian Fairrington
May/22/2013
@ 1:01 pm

$ 41,764 Here’s the original campaign link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fund-a-political-cartoonist-for-a-year

#12 Mike Lester
May/22/2013
@ 2:06 pm

Brian, you’re right. I was way off. My apologies.

#13 Mike Lester
May/22/2013
@ 2:11 pm

But my question still stands: why him? Why not Carrie Dawson Bartley? -or any number of other cartoonists currently under contract?

#14 Donald Rex Jr.
May/22/2013
@ 5:47 pm

Incredibly some people have friends who try to help them. I think this is still the land of the free? At least no one has to answer to me for their actions.

Where is this Fair-y Land to which the above post alludes?

#15 Kenneth Bentley
June/1/2013
@ 10:10 am

I do a lot of cartoons and. Give them away . So I have been doing it for years . I still give away nearly 2000 drawings a year away to friends and my doctor and I don’t worry about anyone copying my work because it is free . I get my paper by the box and draw everyday . I spend sometimes an hour or so on a drawing . I’m retired from cleaning bathrooms at country companies insurance co. I worked for a cleaning company for years . I even worked for a sub contractor for State Farm . I got 6.00 an hour . At country I got 7.50 an hour till they cut my hours and I had to quit because of a gout problem in both feet and legs. .i recently got in a car wreck and broke my heel . I hit two cars and the foundation of a house . So I came down with a trigger finger in my drawing hand . So now I draw with four fingers an I had to slow down . So I still draw but not as many as I used to . I used to draw 10 an hour . Now I do 10 a day if that . Ken

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