Class action against Fox by interns may be expanded

Posted on: August 24th, 2012 by Steve Larson
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A hearing in Manhattan on August 24 could significantly enlarge the class action suit two Black Swan interns brought last year against Fox Searchlight. In an order made public on August 14, 2012, Judge William Pauley, III has agreed to a conference next week on Alex Footman and Eric Glatt’s request to amend their suit.  “Plaintiffs will seek to broaden the scope of the case to include all interns who participated in Fox Entertainment Group’s (‘FEG’s”) internship program,” wrote their lawyer in an August 2 memo to the judge.

The duo also want to separate the class of interns for their suit into “Corporate Interns,” those who worked through the FEG program, and “Production Interns,” those who worked on films that Fox Searchlight co-produced. To that end the amended suit will add two new plaintiffs, Eden Antalik and Kanene Gratts. The former worked through the FEG program and the latter worked on 2009’s (500) Days of Summer, a Searchlight co-produced film. The legal documents also state that “Ms. Gratts would seek to bring classwide claims under California’s Unfair Competition law for unpaid minimum wages on behalf of Production Interns who worked in California.

Footman and Glatt took their action on behalf of themselves and more than 100 Fox Searchlight interns last September to seek back wages for work that they did that they feel they should have been paid for. The suit also aimed to cease what it says is the studio’s incorrect use of students for what is supposed to be training similar to that provided by an educational institution, not getting coffee and other grunt work.