California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Entertainment Industry

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Netflix “Sees What’s Next” with New Policy Addressing Employee Activism

In a significant change of course among major employers, Netflix recently made several modifications to its employee culture memo, which is now called “Netflix Culture – Seeking Excellence.” Among other things, Netflix inserted a section on “Artistic Expression.”  In it, the company acknowledges that “[e]ntertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge … Continue Reading

Volunteers May Work For Nonprofits Without Compensation

The California Court of Appeal has definitively resolved an issue that was until now somewhat ambiguous:  Can volunteers in fact volunteer their time for nonprofit organizations without receiving pay or other forms of compensation?  The answer is YES.  Woods v. American Film Institute, Case No. B307220 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2021). Laurie Woods worked … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Netflix’s Challenge to Poaching Injunction

In the latest blow against Netflix’s aggressive recruiting practices, a California appellate court has affirmed a trial court’s injunction against Netflix and in favor of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (“Fox”), thus permanently barring the streaming giant from poaching Fox executives by inducing them to breach their fixed-term employment contracts. Netflix challenged the injunction, which … Continue Reading

House of Cards: What Employers Can Learn From Kevin Spacey’s Alleged Missteps

Kevin Spacey’s legal troubles have taken a costly turn as the production companies behind Netflix’s House of Cards recently asked a California court to confirm an arbitration award of almost $31 million against Spacey for breach of contract. In 2017, eight House of Cards crew members came forward to accuse Spacey of sexual harassment and … Continue Reading

Dark Day For Hollywood – Law Prohibiting Online Publication Of Actors’ Ages Is Struck Down

IMDb.com Inc. v. Becerra, 962 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir. 2020) The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of IMDb.com, a website that lists, among other things, the actual ages of actors and actresses.  At issue was whether a 2016 California law (Assembly Bill 1687), which prohibits commercial online … Continue Reading

Mask On, Roll Camera: LA County Greenlights Hollywood Production Restart

As we previously reported, last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California’s State Public Health Officer cleared the music, film and television industry to resume work no earlier than this Friday, June 12, 2020, subject to county-by-county approval.  On June 10, 2020, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, announced that she was … Continue Reading

The Wait is (Almost) Over! California Greenlights Resumption of Music, Film and Television Production

  On Friday June 5, Gov. Newsom announced that California has authorized the music, film and television production industries to reopen on or after this coming Friday, June 12, 2020.  The same day, Gov. Newsom announced the reopening of fitness facilities, day camps, and several other industries. Although the State Public Health Officer had been … Continue Reading

Lights, Camera, PPE: Hollywood Guilds and Studios Take Action On Resuming Production

As we discussed in a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter in April, the entertainment industry faces unique challenges as it plans to resume operations.  On May 20, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom suggested that California would release guidelines for reopening the entertainment industry by Memorial Day.  However, to date, California’s Public Health Officer has not … Continue Reading
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