Audio: Unpaid No More: Interns Win Major Court Battle
WNYC—The Takeaway with John Hockenberry
A federal court in New York has ruled that a group of interns at Fox Searchlight Pictures should have been paid for their work on the movie Black Swan. The decision may have broad implications for students looking for their first job.
Eric Glatt filed the federal lawsuit against Fox. He says everyone always told him taking an unpaid internship was the way to get his foot in the door in the film industry.
At Fox, he worked as an unpaid accounting clerk, he says — filing, getting signatures, running checks and handling petty cash — but he was working for nothing.
"All these employers who think if they slap the title intern on the job description, suddenly they don't have to pay for it," he says.
Glatt says this week's court ruling finally bursts what he calls the myth that employers are all offering interns great educational opportunities. "Businesses are not running free schools on their work sites," he says. "What they're doing is getting people to do work that their businesses need done."