Published On: Tue, Oct 18th, 2016

DreamWorks Animation Settles Labor Dispute for $50 Million

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation has settled a two year old law suit with workers for a reported $50 million. The company, started by Hollywood big wigs like Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, had been accused of colluding with other businesses with driving down workers’ wages. Lucasfilm and Pixar were also named in the suit.

Basically the plaintiffs said that companies agreed not to try and steal each other’s talent with better job offers. Its like in sports if teams agree privately not to try and sign each other’s free agents to keep salaries down.

According to a report in The Wrap, the settlement was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California on Monday. The $50 million will be placed into a fund and be distributed among all of the plaintiffs in the suit.

According to the court motion, “The settlement here was reached after arm’s length negotiations, drawing on the expertise of informed, experienced counsel who have been deeply involved in this litigation since its inception, and it reflects the risks associated with both parties continuing to litigate this case. In particular, counsel have been informed and guided by the rulings and settlement valuations deemed fair and reasonable in both this action and the High-Tech litigation.”

The suit had alleged that, among other things, Dreamworks Animation made deals with companies like Pixar and with Lucasfilm where they agreed, “that (a) they would not cold call each other’s employees; (b) they would notify the other company when making an offer to an employee of the other company, if that employee applied for a job notwithstanding the agreement not to cold call; and (c) the company making such an offer would not increase its offer if the company currently employing the employee made a counteroffer.”

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