Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, No. 13-4478 (2d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, hired as unpaid interns on the Fox Searchlight-distributed film "Black Swan," claimed compensation as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq., and New York Labor Law. The district court granted plaintiff Glatt and Footman's motion for partial summary judgment, certified plaintiff Antalik's New York class, and conditionally certified Antalik's nationwide collective. The court agreed with defendants that the proper question is whether the intern or the employer is the primary beneficiary of the relationship, and the court proposed a list of non‐exhaustive factors to aid courts in answering that question. Because the district court limited its review to the six factors in DOL’s Intern Fact Sheet, the court remanded for the district court to permit the parties to submit additional evidence. Even if Antalik established that Fox had a policy of replacing paid employees with unpaid interns, it would not necessarily mean that every Fox intern was likely to prevail on her claim that she was an FLSA employee under the primary beneficiary test, the most important issue in each case. Assuming some questions may be answered with generalized proof, they are not more substantial than the questions requiring individualized proof. Because the most important question in this litigation cannot be answered with generalized proof, the court vacated the district court’s order certifying Antalik’s proposed class and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Finally, for substantially the same reasons as with respect to Antalik’s Rule 23 motion, the court vacated the district court’s order conditionally certifying Antalik’s proposed nationwide collective action and remanded for further proceedings.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on January 25, 2016.