ICM Fights Class Action

ICM Partners is expected to file a second motion to dismiss in a potential class action suit originally filed by former intern Kimberly Behzadi alleging the agency failed to pay educational interns for doing work normally done by assistants.

The company filed a motion to dismiss when Behzadi initially sued in June. In August, she filed an amended complaint and added Jason Rindenau as a representative plaintiff for a proposed class of current and former interns dating back to August 2011.

ICM Partners has notified the plaintiffs it intends to file a motion to dismiss the amended complaint, and both parties have requested filing extensions to accommodate the motion.

Apparently, the agency is working to quash the suit behind the scenes, as well. Deadline Hollywood reports that Karen Abrams, ICM’s head of human resources, has started working the phones – calling former interns seeking support for the program.

ICM doesn’t comment on pending litigation. The first motion to dismiss, when Behzadi was the sole plaintiff, argues that she signed an employment contract that included the requirement that any disputes go to arbitration rather than court.

After her internship ended, she worked for ICM Partners for about a year. Behzadi counters that the contract does not retroactively cover the dispute over work that took place when she was an intern. It was thought that by adding Rindenau and seeking class status, the arbitration language would be irrelevant.