In the words of his America’s Got Talent co-judge Howie Mandel, radio personality Howard Stern’s lawsuit against SiriusXM is a decisive “no deal.”
The host of the eponymous Howard Stern Show was seeking $300 million from his employer SiriusXM, claiming that subscribers he attracted to both the XM and Sirius divisions contributed to his performance-based stock awards, The Smoking Gun reports. Judge Barbara Kapnick, however, ruled that since Stern’s contract only included awards for Sirius subscribers, not those of XM, he fell short of the number of listeners the contract required him to bring in and therefore is not entitled to the stock awards.
Stern was seeking four stock awards valued at $75 million each, which dwarfs even the stock bonuses seen on Wall Street. Last year, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took home $17 million worth of stock and other options, while his Goldman Sachs counterpart Lloyd Blankfein received $10.7 million in stock awards.
Still, Stern is one of many on-air personalities to sue their employer. Keith Olbermann is suing from his former employer Current TV for $70 million over breach of contract when he was fired in late March. The fledgling network is now countersuing Olbermann, claiming instead that he violated "values of respect...and loyalty to our viewers,” co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt wrote in a statement.
But suing over wages isn’t limited to talk show hosts. Recently, employees have been increasingly proactive about getting wages they think they’re entitled to. Just this week the Supreme Court is reviewing claims from pharmaceutical representatives that their employer GlaxoSmithkline owes them overtime pay. Earlier this year, Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG settled a class-action suit over overtime pay with workers for $99 million.
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