On September 28, 2011, Outten & Golden LLP filed a Class Action Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Fox Searchlight, the specialty and independent film division of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, on behalf of Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman, two former Fox Searchlight interns. The complaint alleges that Fox Searchlight violated federal and state labor laws by failing to pay any wages at all to unpaid interns who perform the work of production assistants, bookkeepers, secretaries and janitors on films produced and co-produced by Fox Searchlight. These workers are owed the applicable minimum wage rate for all hours worked, overtime for the hours that they work over 40 in a workweek, spread of hours pay on days on which they work more than 10 hours, and reimbursement for the use of their personal cell phones and laptop computers on film production work. Outten & Golden will seek to have the lawsuit certified as a class action to recover unpaid wages, overtime pay, unreimbursed expenses, liquidated damages, interest and attorneys’ fees for unpaid interns who worked for Fox Searchlight between September 28, 2005 and the date of a final judgment.
On October 9, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to expand the scope of the case to include all interns who participated in the Fox Entertainment Group internship program, to add Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. as a Defendant, and to add two additional interns as named Plaintiffs. The Fox Entertainment Group internship program covers such entities as 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Fox Searchlight, 20th Century Fox Television, and other Fox divisions. The Court’s decision significantly expanded the scope of the case and the number of interns who could potentially recover if the Plaintiffs prevail.
On February 15, 2013, the Production Intern Plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that they are employees entitled to wages for their work on the Fox Searchlight films Black Swan and 500 Days of Summer. Also on February 15, 2013, the Corporate Intern Plaintiff filed a motion to certify a nationwide collective and New York class of individuals who had unpaid internships between September 28, 2005 and September 1, 2010 with one or more of the following divisions of FEG: Fox Filmed Entertainment, Fox Group, Fox Networks Group, and Fox Interactive Media (renamed News Corp. Digital Media). The Court will hear oral argument on the motions on May 3, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
On June 11, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley III, of the Southern District of New York held that Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. and Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. ("FEG") are liable for failing to pay interns in violation of federal and state labor laws. In the first ruling of its kind, the judge concluded that named plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman were employees of Defendant Fox Searchlight Pictures protected by federal and state wage and hour law. Judge Pauley also held that Plaintiff Eden Antalik may prosecute her claims as a class action against the defendants on behalf of interns employed by FEG subsidiaries Fox Filmed Entertainment, Fox Group, Fox Networks Group, and Fox Interactive Media (renamed News Corp. Digital Media). Current or former unpaid interns who believe they may be part of the class should contact the Outten & Golden attorneys listed below, who have been appointed class counsel, to ensure they receive updates on developments on the case."
The case is “Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman, et al., v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc.,” Case No. 11 Civ. 6784 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)