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 Pictures, Inc., 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 minimum wages and overtime to Glatt and Footman, who performed the work of production assistants and bookkeepers on the Fox Searchlight film Black Swan.
On October 9, 2012, the district court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to expand the scope of the case to include all interns who worked without pay for Fox Searchlight’s parent company, Fox Entertainment Group, Inc.. Fox Entertainment Group is also the parent company of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox Networks Group, and several other Fox divisions. Interns who worked for these other divisions will also have the chance to join the lawsuit.
On February 15, 2013, Plaintiffs Glatt and Footman filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the district court to rule that they were “employees” entitled to minimum wages and overtime under federal and New York wage laws. Plaintiffs also filed a motion to certify a nationwide collective and New York class of unpaid interns who worked 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).
On June 11, 2013, the district court granted Plaintiffs’ motions. In the first ruling of its kind, the district court concluded that Glatt and Footman were employees protected by federal and state wage and hour law. The district court also found that the Plaintiffs had met the requirements for class and collective certification and authorized them to out a notice of the lawsuit to class and collective members. A notice was sent on February 26, 2014. If you did not receive a notice and you were an unpaid intern at Fox, please contact Outten & Golden as soon as possible.
Fox has appealed the district court’s decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Plaintiffs’ appellate brief can be found here. The U.S. Department of Labor and several workers’ rights organizations and unions, including the National Employment Law Project and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, filed amicus briefs on Plaintiffs’ behalf. If you are a current or former Fox unpaid intern, we would like to speak with you. Please complete our questionnaire or contact us directly.