"Modern Family" stars Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet have filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday (July 24) against 20th Century Fox Television to void their contract after claiming it violates California law.
In part the lawsuit states, "Modern Family' has been a breakout critical and financial success. That success, however, has been built upon a collection of illegal contracts." Sources who have seen the suit say the contracts violate California's "7 Year Rule," which restricts personal services contracts for longer than 7 years.
The five co-stars are asking a judge to declare the contracts illegal because the actors are required to work with the series from February 2009 until June 30, 2016 and are facing a salary standoff which has already delayed the start of the fourth season.
Under their current agreement which extends into the seventh season, the cast members are facing a capped pay raise between 4-5 percent each year, which according to The Hollywood Reporter equals out to: "$150,000 per episode plus a $50,000 per episode bonus for season 4; $200,000 per episode for season 5; $225,000 for season 6; and up to $325,000 for an anticipated season 9."