The issue of whether they were employees is not the only significant battle the plaintiffs will have to fight in their lawsuit. They must also prove that the discrimination took place within 300 days of filing their action.
Producers claims that the charges took place much earlier than the required 300 days before the lawsuit was filed. The plaintiffs respond that there's been a "pattern and practice" of discrimination that most recently occurred when Jermaine Jones was booted off the show for outstanding warrants during season 11. They say Jones's disqualification in March 2012 was within the 300-day period of first filing the petition with the EEOC in January 2013.
Jones did not join the lawsuit and has dismissed the plaintiffs' allegations as "ludicrous."
Frenchie Davis, who is not a plaintiff in the lawsuit but was a semi-finalist in the second season until she was disqualified because of topless photos taken earlier in her career, wrote on her Facebook page after news of the lawsuit broke, "American Idol WOULD NOT HAVE DISQUALIFIED ME IF I WERE WHITE. PERIOD. I don't care how many Black winners they've had.