Law Offices of Louis Spitters

California employment dispute complicated by budget cuts

Budget cuts across the nation have limited the proficiency of local governments due to reduced staff. For one woman in California, this means her employment dispute has essentially been delayed indefinitely as she awaits a ruling from a local government organization. The plaintiff in the case has been waiting for more than two years for a decision that could allow her lawsuit against a previous client to proceed.

The woman, the former manager of author Orson Scott Card, has filed a lawsuit claiming she is entitled to 10 percent of his earnings from a film adaptation of one of his novels. In response, Card contacted the Labor Commission claiming the woman had violated the Talent Agencies Act, a controversial statute allowing only licensed agents to seek employment for their clients. The woman countered claiming no violation occurred because she worked in conjunction with a licensed agent.

Additionally, Card claims that at the time he signed a contract with the plaintiff, Warner Bros. was developing the movie and the plaintiff's contract specifically excluded her from making money from the film adaptation. However, the plaintiff claims the contract dealt solely with Warner Bros., not OddLot Entertainment who is producing the film. Both sides met with employment commission representatives over two years ago, but the commission has failed to issue a decision citing budget cuts, meaning the lawsuit has not been able to proceed. The plaintiff is now seeking to proceed with the lawsuit.

There is not a single employee, in California or across the nation, who would choose not to be paid for work they promised and completed. If an employee has an employment dispute, he or she can seek legal recourse in a civil court. This will allow them to bring closure to a stressful situation.

Source:, Orson Scott Card's Ex-Manager Aims to Speed Up 'Ender's Game' Commission Dispute, Eriq Gardner, Sept. 16, 2013

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