Does this apply to you?
If you have held an unpaid internship during the past six years, even if you received school credit for the internship, we would like to talk to you.
If you have information related to our lawsuits on behalf of unpaid interns against the Hearst or Fox Searchlight, we would also like to hear from you. Please complete our questionnaire and a member of Outten & Golden LLP’s legal team will contact you.
Entry-level jobs are disappearing. Fight back against unpaid internships.
Unpaid interns are becoming the modern-day equivalent of entry-level employees, except that employers are not paying them for the many hours they work. The practice of classifying employees as “interns” to avoid paying wages runs afoul of federal and state wage and hour laws, which require employers to pay all workers whom they “suffer or permit” the minimum wage and overtime. Employers’ failure to compensate interns for their work, and the prevalence of the practice nationwide, curtails opportunities for employment, fosters class divisions between those who can afford to work for no wage and those who cannot, and indirectly contributes to rising unemployment.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an unpaid internship is only lawful in the context of an educational training program, when the interns do not perform productive work and the employer derives no benefit. “If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled to compensation under the FLSA.”
The U.S. Department of Labor’s test is not new. It is based on the United States Supreme Court’s 1947 opinion in Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., 330 U.S. 148, 152-53 (1947), which held that the FLSA’s definition of “employee” does not include participants in an educational or vocational training program that provides no immediate benefit to the employer and that serves only the trainees’ interests.
Outten & Golden LLP is committed to ensuring that interns are fairly compensated for their work. To learn more about our class action litigation on behalf of unpaid interns, please view the information in the case-specific tabs above, or contact us directly.