The New York Department of Labor announced that it has reached a settlement with controversial concert promoter Sofar Sounds.
Sofar Sounds was penalized for failing to pay 654 “ambassadors” for work that they performed at shows between 2016 and 2019.
The settlement calls for Sofar Sounds to pay the ambassadors a total of $460,357.50 in unpaid wages.
In the announcement, the government agency indicated that Sofar has been cooperating with the investigation from its onset. They went on to say that the company has since changed its business model, by paying those who work at their shows.
The investigation began in August of last year when both a journalist and a musician contacted the agency in regards to Sofar. They wanted to know what rules and regulations were in place for companies such as Sofar, and this prompted the investigation.
The investigation revealed that unpaid ambassadors were running all aspects of Sofar’s shows, including promoting the events on social media and physically setting up the venues prior to the shows.
Roberta Reardon, who is commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor, issued a statement in regards to the settlement.
She said, “Worker protection is at the forefront of our mission at the Department of Labor and that includes making sure New Yorkers receive the wages they are entitled to. In this case, SoFar made our job much easier because they wanted to be a partner and a good corporate citizen.”
She then added, “When a for-profit business enlists the services of an individual, that individual is an employee, and must be paid for the work they are doing. My Department closely monitors compliance with New York State Labor Law and we recognize that sometimes businesses make mistakes. In this case, SoFar Sounds fully cooperated with the investigation and corrected that mistake. They have taken swift steps to change their business practices, and they are fully compensating their employees. I consider this a win for everybody!”
Sofar Sounds made news last month when they announced that, on average, they make $176 per show.