A federal judge on Tuesday allowed production workers to proceed as a group in a lawsuit against the film company Fox Searchlight, and deemed some of them to be employees rather than interns under federal and state labor laws.

Among the projects they and more than 40 others worked on was the movie “Black Swan,” starring Natalie Portman, the complaint said.

In a decision on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Pauley allowed the group to pursue its case as a collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as under California and New York state labor laws.

“They worked as paid employees work, providing an immediate advantage to their employer and performing low-level tasks not requiring specialized training,” Pauley wrote, noting that they did not receive training similar to academic learning.


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By Carlyn Kolker
Reuters Legal