Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame -

Law­suit Ac­cuses Ma­jor Stu­dios of Con­spir­ing on Wages, Hir­ing

A new class-ac­tion law­suit al­leges such ma­jor an­i­ma­tion and VFX com­pa­nies as DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion, Dis­ney, Lu­cas­film, Sony and Dig­i­tal Do­main agreed not to poach each other’s work­ers.

The law­suit, filed Sept. 8 in San Jose, said the com­pa­nies “agreed to work to­gether to de­prive thou­sands of work­ers” of bet­ter wages and po­si­tions at other firms, ac­cord­ing to news re­ports. The com­plaint also names Dis­ney’s Pixar and Lu­cas­film units, Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion and Dig­i­tal Do­main 3.0 among the de­fen­dants.

Ac­cord­ing to news re­ports, the suit ac­cuses the com­pa­nies of con­spir­ing to fix the wages of an­i­ma­tors, dig­i­tal artists, soft­ware en­gi­neers and other work­ers and mak­ing “non-so­lic­i­ta­tion” agree­ments with each other.

The suit was filed by Robert A. Nitsch Jr., a for­mer se­nior character ef­fects artist at DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion from 2007 to 2011.

Dis­ney replied to news or­ga­ni­za­tions re­quest for com­ment by say­ing the com­plaint “is ut­terly with­out merit.” Other named com­pa­nies de­clined to com­ment.

The law­suit is seek­ing an un­spec­i­fied amount of money in­clud­ing com­pen­satory da­m­ages and le­gal costs, plus a per­ma­nent in­junc­tion to pro­hibit anti-poach­ing agree­ments.

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