In recently discovered documents, the band member has lodged a formal complaint accusing a local musician’s union of withholding his paycheck that was mistakenly mailed to them.
As reported by The Tennessean, musical director and fiddle player in The Band Perry, Jason Fitz has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and accused the American Federation of Musicians Local 257 of unlawfully withholding payment due.
According to the complaint, after playing during a two-day recording session this April, the label (Interscope) mailed his paycheck to the AFM chapter instead of his address.
Fitz, a former member of the chapter, says that the AFM treasurer sent him an email that threatened to withhold the paychecks if he did not pay a service fee to the union.
“His paycheck, for reasons unclear…given that he is a non-member, was sent by the record label to the union,” The complaint reads. “Charging a non-member a ‘service fee’ is, of course, illegal in the state of Tennessee.“
While the complaint alleges that the AFM demanded a service fee of $61.38, the amount he’s owed from the recording session is not listed.
The local AFM chapter president stated that it’s not uncommon for non-member musicians to collect their paychecks from the union, nor is it uncommon for bands or labels to pay musicians using the union as an intermediate party.
The president, Dave Pomeroy, also alleges that Fitz has picked up “more than 30” paychecks since he discontinued his membership.
“When non-members are paid through AFM 257, we ask for a modest administrative service fee, which helps to defray our cost of working for non-members who use our services,” Pomeroy told the publication adding that “many people gladly pay” the fee, and the AFM 257 does “not withhold payment if they choose not to”.
The union also states that the message sent to Fitz was an automatic response they typically send to non-members, and further alleges that they’ve mailed him previous paychecks at no cost as a courtesy.
Fitz is an active member of the group as a longstanding fiddle player and also acts as their musical director. It is unclear how the artist will proceed with the complaint after the AFM has issued a public comment on the matter.
What do you think of the situation? Let us know in the comments.
Watch The Band Perry’s video for “You Lie” below!
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