Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Katie Kilkenny on December 9, 2019.
Verve has become the first major Hollywood company to announce a business-wide change in response to #PayUpHollywood.
In an email to employees on Monday, partners at the talent and literary agency, which represents #PayUpHollywood founder Liz Alper and organizer John August, announced a number of changes made in response to the hashtag and movement, which advocates for livable wages and improved work conditions for the industry’s assistants. Most notably, the agency will be increasing the pay of mailroom employees and assistants by 25 to 40 percent: Mailroom assistants will now make $17.50 an hour, assistants $18.50 an hour and “experienced assistants” $20 an hour. Mailroom assistants, before the change, received $14.25 an hour,and assistants slightly higher. (Minimum wage in California is $12 an hour and will be increasing to $15 an hour by 2023 for all companies.)
The wage increases will be coupled with a shorter workday, another change announced in the company-wide note. Verve’s work day will be changing from 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. to 9 a.m.-7 p.m., offering one less hour of regular pay for employees; the agency added that employees will continue to receive overtime pay for any work before or after these office hours. Verve already pays mailroom employees and assistants two hours’ worth of pay for script reading on the weekends, work that is often expected of agency support staff but not frequently reimbursed. …