Older live-action writers have been moving an age discrimination through the courts for the last decade. And it's now gotten settled.
A slew of television talent agencies, networks and production studios are making it clear that they do not discriminate against older writers. Nevertheless, they're paying $70 million to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit.
It remains to be seen how much money will flow to the 165 plaintiffs who participated in the class-action suit, and attorneys for both parties involved in the 10-year battle say they are not allowed to talk about Friday's settlement, which is subject to final approval by California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.
Sources close to the situation calculate that those who joined the class action early are eligible for amounts ranging from $70,000-$140,000, and in some cases more ...
These things are always sumbitches to litigate. And the talent agencies and studios admit no wrongdoing:
The defendants strongly deny the plaintiffs’ allegations and state that their hiring and/or representation practices fully comply with the law and reflect their commitment to equal employment opportunity. They also note that they all have long-standing anti-discrimination policies and regularly employ or represent substantial numbers of writers over the age of forty ...
Happily, they're still willing to cough up some money to, you know, get rid of the problem. In my experience, it's tough to prove wrongdoing. There is seldom a smoking gun or e-mails pointing to some dark conspiracy against older workers. And the courts (including SCOTUS) are not necessarily keen to rule in favor of lawsuits filed by employees in their fifties and sixties.