Gawker takes its time releasing documents in unpaid intern lawsuit, refuses to provide tax returns
The disclosure process in the class action suit mounted against Gawker by a group of former unpaid interns is rumbling along. There are just a few snags, according to recently filed documents. The first is snag is that, as a cool, digital company, Gawker apparently doesn't generate a whole lot of paper. At the end of the non-electronic disclosure period, Gawker has apparently delivered a grand total of four pieces of paper to the plaintiffs' attorneys. Not four hundred. Four.
The second snag is that Gawker is taking its sweet time in disclosing electronic documents, which were due for delivery on December 15th (a deadline that had already been extended by the court back in December.) According to a letter written by plaintiffs' lawyers, to Judge Alison J Nathan, Gawker "have had some difficulty settling on the best methodology for collection." As a result, the plaintiffs have agreed to give Gawker a bit more time, extending the deadline to the first week of January.
Snag three: Under the Fair Labor Standards Act -- the law in relation to which the former interns are bringing their action -- the court has to establish the revenues of the company being sued. For this, plaintiffs had asked Gawker to disclose its "[a]ll tax returns Gawker had filed from 2013 to the present."
Gawker's response: No freaking way.
As a compromise, plaintiffs have agreed that Gawker not to demand the tax returns and thus force Gawker to tell the world how much it is sending to its off-shore tax haven in the Cayman Islands. Instead it has agreed to accept a representation from Gawker that it revenues are at least $500,000. They will also disclose tax records relating to the interns who are party to the lawsuit.
Here's the letter: