$50M Settlement Reached in Dreamworks Animators Anti-Poaching Class Action Lawuit

- by

Santa Clara, CA: A $50 million settlement has been agreed in an antitrust anti-employee poaching class action lawsuit pending against Dreamworks Animation. The suit, filed in 2014, alleged that the animation company perpetuated a "no poach" gentleman’s agreement with other studios over the hiring of animators.

According to a statement by a group of animators and visual effects employees who worked for the studios, “The Proposed Settlement Agreement was the product of a thorough assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of plaintiffs’ case.” And, “It reflects nearly two years of discovery, uncovering the intricacies of a multi-faceted conspiracy.”

The group has asked the court to grant preliminary approval of the settlement with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., calling it fair and reasonable. They stated that the money represented about 40 percent of the damages sustained by class members, who were previous employees of Dreamworks, as a result of the scheme.

The suit targeted some major studios including The Walt Disney Co., Pixar Inc., DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd. and ImageMovers Digital LLC.

The allegations of colluding to stop poaching and driving up pay rates, resulted from a U.S. Department of Justice probe into the hiring practices of Silicon Valley businesses. Earlier this year, the animators, while pushing for class certification in their case, told the court that the studios' collusion dates back several years and suppressed their pay by as much as 30 percent in some years.

The case is In re: Animation Workers Antitrust Litigation, case number 5:14-cv-04062, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Legal Help

If you have a similar problem and would like to be contacted by a lawyer at no cost or obligation, please fill in our form on the right.

Add Your Comment on This Issue

Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Request Legal Help