For more than three years Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (which is now under Disney ownership) has maintained in court that Netflix has been poaching employees from them. And, on Monday, Judge Marc Gross agreed enough to grant Fox's request for an injunction against the streamer, with a tentative ruling that's set to be finalized very shortly. Deadline reports that Netflix is expected to appeal that order.
A lawsuit was first filed in 2016 after Fox alleged that Netflix had persuaded a pair of their employees to break fixed-term contracts with the former in order to join the latter. This prompted a countersuit from Netflix, who argued that Fox makes their employees agree to "unconscionable" terms that should be voided. Keep that in mind when you read their statement at the bottom.
Back in June, Gross ruled against Netflix, stating that a pair of Fox contracts handed out to employees Marcos Waltenberg and Tara Flynn were in fact justifiable. Gross also agreed that Netflix interfered.
Since then, Fox maintains that Netflix was still pilfering their employees. Deadline reports that more than a dozen have switched sides in addition to Flynn and Walterberg. This is what led to that company asking for an injunction. That, again, was granted on Monday when Gross decided that Netflix can't decide what is and is not lawful when it comes to Fox contracts.
In addition to their successful try to at least get a judge to tell them to back off from hiring their under contract employees, Fox was also seeking a symbolic $1 award in damages from the streamer. Gross decided that enough evidence wasn't presented to award that buck in Fox's favor. A trial is scheduled for late January 2020, but if Fox actually goes through with it that will likely only serve to prove that they're completely insane.
I can give you a dollar.
As per Variety, Netflix will probably take this to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal to see if they see things differently than Gross did.
Netflix also released a statement combined with several burns, in which they said:
“As Judge Gross wrote, Fox failed to prove it was hurt in any way when two executives decided to exercise their right to go to Netflix. Fox’s illegal contracts force employees to remain trapped in jobs they no longer wish to do and at salaries far below market rate. We will continue to fight to make sure that people who work in the entertainment industry have the same rights as virtually every other Californian and can make their own choices about where they work.”
If legalese doesn't either make your head explode or cause you to fall asleep, you can read more here.