Sofar Sounds To Pay Concert Volunteers $460K In NY Labor Dept. Settlement

The New York State Department of Labor has reached a $460,357.50 settlement with Sofar Sounds after an investigation revealed that 654 Sofar “ambassadors” were not compensated for work performed at events between 2016 and 2019.

Sofar, which produces small concerts in 400 cities around the world, has also come under fire for paying musicians as little $100 for performances that netted several thousand dollars. The company recently pledged transparency and better pay for artists. The promoter now also staffs all of its events with paid employees.

The Department, which praised Sofar for a quick resolution, began its investigation in August 2019, after a reporter and musician contacted the NYSDOL to learn more about the rules and regulations that regulate businesses like Sofar.

“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,” said  New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “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!”

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,” Reardon continued. “In this case, SoFar made our job much easier because they wanted to be a partner and a good corporate citizen.”

MORE: Sofar Sounds Opens Books, Pledges More Money For Artists

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