Saturday, January 23, 2010

Age Discrimination - The Settlement

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.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Catmull and Lasseter have sure turned Disney Animation around.

First "Bolt," now "The Princess and the Frog."

My 2 Cents said...

Hey, buy a clue, jerk. That's not what the posting was about. Can we have at least one comment that's actually on topic?

To wit: Maybe no one was stupid enough to put something on paper, (remember "Gentleman's Agreement?"), but someone had to say something to somebody, especially to a newcomer being trained to do the job. Someone could investigate using young "beards" like blacklisted writers in the fifties. Records of submissions must be kept somewhere that can be cross-referenced with demographics and bio statistics. If the will is there, there are ways. The problem, as in all kinds of prejudice, that there is subtle agreement with the policy. People wink at it.

The willingness to settle indicates that the responsible parties were feeling the heat and wanted to get out from under, no matter what they claim.

I would love to take a stab at entrapping some of our "Logan's Run" studios.

Anonymous said...

Whoops.s Wrong comment on wrong post.


Anonymous said...

Hey, "My 2 Cents",
I really enjoy your posts.
They're intelligent!
Very refreshing in today's environment.

Anonymous said...

And not angry at all.

My 2 Cents said...

Is it a crime, now, to be angry? Is there nothing to be justifiably angry about?

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