By: WGAE Non-Fiction    November 18, 2013

Pawn Stars (averaging 4.6 million viewers) regularly beats one of its top scripted competitors on Sunday night, Mad Men .

Congressman Jerrold Nadler and NYC Public Advocate-Elect Tish James were on hand today as the Writers Guild released a comprehensive research report on working conditions in the nonfiction TV industry.

The report found that a typical nonfiction TV producer loses $30,000 a year in overtime pay, and as a group, producers are losing at least $40 million a year.

The report detailed findings from an industry-wide survey conducted in the summer. It found widespread violations of state wage and hour laws, and a sharp increase in hours worked across the industry. The report shines a much-needed light on these issues.

“The networks and production companies that make millions of dollars in profits from reality television programs must obey the wage and hour laws, and they must respect their employees’ right to work together to build sustainable careers.  People have the right to ask for paid time off, for health benefits, for reasonable hours and pay,” said Letitia James, Public Advocate-elect.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) said, “I call upon the companies that employ these men and women to obey all wage and hour laws, and I support efforts to enforce those laws. Production companies must join with their employees, the cable television networks, and responsible government agencies to develop industry-wide standards to make sure that employees are treated fairly and lawfully.”

Press coverage of the study: