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News and Announcements

Black Swan Event: The Beginning of the End of Unpaid Internships

Jun 13, 2013 / Media Coverage /—Ross Perlin Two years ago, they didn’t stand a chance. Two days ago, when I heard they had won, I dug the email out of my inbox: “I’ve been glad to read about your upcoming book, Intern Nation. I recently worked as one of approximately 20 illegally unpaid interns for the Oscar nominated film Black Swan.” The email was from Eric Glatt, a 41-year-old New Yorker who admitted that he fell “outside the norm” for an intern, with his two Master’s degrees and substantial career experience under his belt. Like many older interns in today’s labor market, he was transitioning careers and had no...
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Two Ex-Interns Sue Conde Nast Over Wages

Jun 13, 2013 / Media Coverage /
The New York Times—Christine Haughney Two former interns filed a lawsuit against Condé Nast on Thursday, saying the company failed to pay them minimum wage at their summer jobs at W Magazine and The New Yorker, and asked that it be approved as a class-action suit. Lauren Ballinger, who worked as an intern at W Magazine in 2009, and Matthew Leib, an intern at The New Yorker in 2009 and 2010, said in the suit that Condé Nast, which owns the magazines, paid them less than $1 an hour. According to court papers filed Thursday morning in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Mr. Leib was paid $300...
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Outten & Golden LLP: Conde Nast Violates Labor Laws with Interns

Jun 13, 2013 / Press Release /
PRNewswire—Outten & Golden LLP Conde Nast, the worldwide publisher of fashion, culture, food and home magazines, illegally employs interns in violation of federal and state labor laws, Outten & Golden LLP alleged today in New York federal court. The class action complaint, filed on behalf of two former interns who worked at W Magazine and The New Yorker, accuses Advance Magazine Publishers, Inc., which does business as Conde Nast Publications, of failing to pay interns proper wages for the work they perform in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York...
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'Black Swan' Interns Win Lawsuit, Show Fox Who the Swan Queen Is

Jun 12, 2013 / Media Coverage /—Amanda Bell Lesson of the day: Don't treat your unpaid interns like some little herd of free laborers, okay studios? Not only is in poor form (pun intended), but it can also land you on the receiving end of a big, fat lawsuit with the quickness. That's just what happened with a pair of so-called "interns" on 20th Century Fox's production of "Black Swan," Alexander Footman and Eric Glatt, who've now won their federal case against the studio for mishandling their term on the set. * * * Federal judge William Pauley has decided that the duo "were classified improperly as unpaid...
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Outten & Golden LLP: Court Rules for Unpaid Interns, Certifies Class Action Against Fox

Jun 12, 2013 / Press Release /
PRNewswire—Outten & Golden LLP A New York federal court ruled Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. and Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. are liable for failing to pay interns in violation of federal and state labor laws, Outten & Golden LLP said today. In the first ruling of its kind, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley III, of the Southern District of New York, ruled Tuesday that named plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman were employees of defendant Fox Searchlight Pictures and protected by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour law. Judge Pauley also...
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'Black Swan' Interns Get Green Light To Sue

Jun 12, 2013 / Media Coverage /—Carlyn Kolker A federal judge on Tuesday allowed production workers to proceed as a group in a lawsuit against the film company Fox Searchlight, and deemed some of them to be employees rather than interns under federal and state labor laws. The decision took a different tack from a ruling by another judge on the same bench, who was faced with the same central question recently. Eric Glatt and Alex Footman sued Fox Searchlight in September 2011, alleging that the company violated federal and state labor laws guaranteeing minimum wage by classifying them as unpaid interns. "...
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Unpaid Fox Interns Are Employees, Judge Rules

Jun 12, 2013 / Media Coverage /
Law360—Richard Vanderford A Fox Entertainment Group Inc. unit misclassified unpaid coffee-fetching interns when it failed to call them employees, a federal judge said Tuesday, a blow for the company in its fight to avoid paying the young staffers. U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said two unpaid interns who worked on “Black Swan,” a movie produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., provided free labor to Fox but got little of educational value in the bargain. The workers — who ran errands, photocopied and made coffee, among other menial tasks — should have been legally classified as...
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Judge Rules That Fox Searchlight Should Have Paid Its Interns

Jun 12, 2013 / Media Coverage /—Katie Mcdonough A Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled on Tuesday that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and New York state minimum wage laws by not paying production interns who, Judge William H. Pauley III said, were effectively regular employees on the set of “Black Swan.” Pauley found that the internships, which consisted primarily of basic chores like taking out the trash and picking up lunch orders for paid staff, yielded no educational benefit and served primarily to the advantage of the movie studio: “Undoubtedly [interns] Mr. [Eric] Glatt and Mr. [Alexander]...
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Black Swan Interns Win Landmark Case

Jun 12, 2013 / Media Coverage /—Ben Child Two interns who completed unpaid work on the Oscar-winning film Black Swan have won a landmark case against the studio behind the movie, 20th Century Fox. Alexander Footman and Eric Glatt had complained they were made to undertake menial work with little or no educational value that ought to have been carried out by paid employees. US law makes it clear that unpaid interns must gain educational benefit from their work experience and cannot be used to replace regular paid workers. Federal judge William Pauley ruled yesterday that Footman and Glatt were in fact "...
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'Black Swan' Intern: Court Ruling Should 'Serve as a Warning' to All Employers

Jun 12, 2013 / Media Coverage /—Tim Kenneally A New York judge's ruling that Fox Searchlight interns are entitled to be paid for their work should "serve as a warning" to employers seeking free labor under the umbrella of unpaid internships, one of the plaintiffs who worked as on the film "Black Swan" said on Wednesday. "This decision should serve as a warning to employers across the country," Eric Glatt said in a statement issued by Outten & Golden LLP, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. "You cannot simply slap the term ‘intern’ on a job description and think that relieves you of the legal and...
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