Bloomberg News

Comedian Louis CK Sues Union Over Pension Contribution Claim (1)

October 17, 2013

The comedian Louis CK’s production company sued to block a claim for $28,000 in health and benefit contributions tied to his work as editor of his FX Networks LLC series “Louie.”

Louis CK, whose real name is Louis Szekely, is the creator and star of the series, which is in production for a fourth season for FX, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA:US)

Szekely’s production company, Pig Newton Inc., sued the directors of three union benefit plans in Manhattan federal court yesterday, seeking a court declaration that it doesn’t owe the money. Pig Newton claimed the contribution was calculated using an “invalid rule” that ignores the hours Szekely actually spent working on the show.

Pig Newton is owned by Szekely and employs him and the show’s cast and crew under collective bargaining agreements with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists, and Allied Crafts, the production company said in its complaint.

Pig Newton claims an audit showed that it properly reported all hours worked by the show’s employees, including those actually worked by Szekely. The plans claim the additional contributions based on Szekely’s status as an employee-owner of the company, requiring payments based on full-time, yearlong work, rather than the amount of hours actually worked, Pig Newton said.

Katherine Orloff, a spokeswoman for the union, didn’t immediately reply to a voice-mail message seeking comment on the suit.

The case is Pig Newton Inc. v. Boards of Directors of the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan, the Motion Picture Industry Individual Account Plan, and the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan, 13-cv-07312, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in Manhattan federal court at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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