The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has reached a $460,000 settlement with Sofar Sounds -- the company that puts on intimate, surprise-lineup concerts around the world -- following an investigation into its use of unpaid workers.
The investigation was sparked in August by a widely shared Talkhouse article regarding Sofar's use of volunteers. The NYSDOL found that more than 600 Sofar Sounds "ambassadors" -- who operate and manage events in various U.S. cities -- were never compensated for their work between 2016 and 2019. Because Sofar is a for-profit business, the NYSDOL says the company is required to pay those individuals.
According to a press release from the NYSDOL, Sofar Sounds "cooperated fully and immediately" to change its business model and now staffs all its events with paid employees. It also agreed to immediately compensate the unpaid workers, who recovered $460,357.50 in unpaid wages. The news was first reported by Variety.