Judge Grants Preliminary Approval of Fox Interns Settlement

Black Swan Interns - H 2013
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Black Swan Interns - H 2013

A proposed settlement that ends a landmark lawsuit over unpaid internships has cleared the first bar with a federal judge on Friday granting preliminary approval.

Alex Footman and Eric Glatt, who worked on Fox Searchlight's Black Swan, and Eden Antalik, who participated in the Fox Entertainment Group internship program, led a class action that claimed they were entitled to minimum wage and overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. After experiencing initial success at the summary judgment phase, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their win and articulated a different standard in reading their employment status. Primed to once again shoot for a win, the parties instead came to a resolution.

Under the terms of the agreement, many class members will be getting $495 for their internships. The named plaintiffs are getting between $3,500 and $7,500, while the plaintiff's law firm would be able to apply for up to $200,000 for their attorneys' fees and reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs. The full terms are here.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley III has decided to certify the classes, finding that they meet the numerosity, commonality, typicality and adequacy requirements and further states, "The Court finds that the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be preliminarily approved. The Settlement will ensure prompt payment to class and collective members and avoid the risks and expense of continued litigation."

Pauley has scheduled a fairness hearing on Nov. 9 to address whether the proposed settlement should be given final approval.