Ex-manager sues WGAW


A former trusts and estates manager for the WGA West filed a wrongful-termination suit Thursday against the WGA West, claiming that she was improperly fired after assisting in a U.S. Labor Department investigation into guild collection practices.

Teri Mial, who said she was fired from the guild July 7 after nine years of employment, claims in the Los Angeles Superior Court filing that "reasons given for her sudden termination were nothing more than a pretext made up by the (WGAW)." Mial, who is represented by Douglas Silverstein of the Kesluk & Silverstein law firm in Los Angeles, seeks unspecified monetary damages.

The Labor Department "launched an investigation into the guild's collection and distribution of foreign levies," according to the suit. It further claims that "guild leadership has not disclosed an accurate accounting of the foreign levies collected on behalf of its members, nor has it distributed all foreign levies that have been collected."

A previous lawsuit, filed in September 2005 by writer-director William Richert, alleged that the WGAW "had not obtained permission from WGAW nonmembers to collect foreign levies on their behalf," the Mial suit noted.

A WGAW spokeswoman declined comment on the litigation.