Netflix Pays People To Watch, But They’re Not Happy About It

Some people being paid to watch Netflix are suing the company, alleging unfair work practices. Netflix pays workers involved in "Project Beetlejuice," known as “juicers,” $10 per film or show, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The juicers select the most enticing images and videos from Netflix’s library of thousands of titles. Those images and videos are what you see when you mouseover a title, or see it in your list of titles. The juicers are paid as independent contractors, a designation that allows Netflix to avoid paying overtime, offering paid vacations and holidays, providing health insurance and a 401(k) plan. Two of them, Long Beach resident Lawrence Moss and Los Angeles resident Cigdem Akbay, are filing separate class action suits in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that the streaming giant misclassified them as contractors. Both suits allege that the workers had close relationships with Netflix management and worked in excess of 40 hours per week. "Theoretically, [Akbay] could set her own hours, but Netflix imposed deadlines for assignments that in effect imposed a rigid work schedule," the complaint says. She says she was fired after she informed the company that watching Netflix was her primary form of income. Netflix won’t reveal the number of workers in the program, why it’s called Project Beetlejuice, or really anything else about what the work entails. The suits are close in kind to those levied against Uber and Grubhub, which also allege that workers had been misclassified as contractors.

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