Celebrity-endorsed and backed JetSmarter, touted as the “Uber for jet planes,” allegedly owes its workers tens of thousands in missed overtime fees.
A lawsuit filed by former employee Grace Lamey on behalf of herself and others similarly situated claims the company required her to work over 65 hours per week for 41 to 49 weeks without paying overtime fees, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The unpaid overtime fees amount to over $38,000 in time worked from April 2016 to March 2017, Lamey claims.
Lamey’s work included communicating to customers pre-flight, performing clerical work and carrying out manual labor like setting up food and beverage props. Both the company and its CEO Sergey Petrossov were hit with the lawsuit, filed to the U.S. district court in the Southern District of Florida last Tuesday.
Additionally, the company has been unable to make payroll and failed to deliver paychecks on time for at least a few months now due to financial difficulties at JetSmarter, according to sources at The Verge.
“You would be there late working a fancy party for customers, handing out food, champagne, that sort of thing. And then you would wake up the next day to find your paycheck was late,” a former employee told The Verge.
The app lets you rent a private jet for a mere $15,000 membership fee, and gives customers access to “exclusive events” and celebrity meet-and-greets. The service also boasts a 24/7 concierge service, which it apparently may not pay its employees to do.
The luxury jet plane startup doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being ethical. JetSmarter offered a journalist at The Verge to write a puff piece about the company within five business days or be charged $2,000. The company also raised membership fees in “mafia-like” dealings with customers, and its president, Edward Barsky, was arrested on charges of embezzlement in February.
Moral of the story: don’t get into a plane just because Kim Kardashian told you to.