$70 Million Age Discrimination Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval

On January 22, 2010, the Los Angeles Superior Court granted preliminary approval of 19 class action lawsuits alleging age discrimination against television writers. The settlement resolves claims against most major studios, networks and talent agencies in Hollywood and, if approved, will create a settlement fund totaling $70 million.

WGAW members who were age 40 or older as of January 22, 2010 are potentially part of the “professional writer settlement class” and will receive in the mail a written notice detailing the terms of the settlement and the claims filing procedure. The heirs of certain members who passed away on or after October 22, 1996 will also be part of that class. In addition, certain non-members who sought employment as television writers have been designated members of the separate “aspiring television writer settlement class” and will also receive notice of the settlement by mail or email. A hearing on final approval of the settlement is set for May 5, 2010.

Since the Guild was not a party to these class action lawsuits, it is not authorized to advise writers about the settlement process. All questions should be directed to the lawyers for the plaintiff class and the claims administrator, Garden City Group. The following websites and toll free numbers have been established for this purpose:

Claims Administrator: www.TVWritersSettlementAdmin.com, 1-888-730-7198
Class Counsel: www.TVWritersCounsel.com, 1-877-518-7090