Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Class Action Action

From Deadline:

Animation Studios Lawsuit Wants Judge Who Scuttled Apple Settlement To Preside

If DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Lucasfilm thought they could bog down the class-action lawsuit that a former DWA effects artist has brought against the toon studios, they’d better think again. ... “Plaintiff Robert A. Nitsch, Jr. submits this administrative motion requesting that the Court consider whether Nitsch v. DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and … High-Tech Employee Litigation are related and direct the Clerk of Court to reassign Nitsch to the Honorable Judge Lucy H. Koh,” said lawyers for Nitsch in a federal filing this week." ...

For the past several years, [Koh] has presided over a class-action case by 64,000 tech workers against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe in which the tech giants contrived for years not to snag engineers and other qualified employees from one another. As in the animation studios suit, which was birthed out of evidence presented in the tech suit, the companies were accused of also suppressing employees’ wages to double digits below market value as a way to keep people in-house and save on costs to boost profits. ...

I've listened to animation employees' stories of job offers rescinded and low-ball wage proposals, of talks broken off with potential employees when a studio discovered they worked for a competitor.

Whether there was a conspiracy to keep wages suppressed is a question for the courts. But I know what I think.


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