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Viacom sues Netflix over hiring of executive

Viacom Inc. has filed a complaint against Netflix Inc. over its hiring practices.

In an Oct. 5 filing with the Superior Court of the state of California, for the county of Los Angeles, Central District, Viacom accused the streaming giant of violating California law, including the state's Labor Code, by employing Momita Sengupta, whose contract with Viacom was not set to expire until April 21, 2020.

Viacom claimed that Netflix was aware that Sengupta was under an employment agreement with Viacom but still pursued her and induced her to start working at Netflix immediately. In addition to compensatory, punitive and/or statutory damages, Viacom is seeking a permanent injunction to stop Netflix from interfering with any of Viacom's term employment agreements.

Netflix said it will defend against the complaint since it believes this "contract as well as the legacy studio employment practices underlying it create unenforceable obligations under California law," Variety reported Oct. 16.

In 2016, Netflix filed a cross-complaint against 21st Century Fox Inc. in response to a lawsuit that accused the streaming giant of illegally hiring two Fox executives who were under contract.