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News and Announcements

News and Announcements

NYC Passes Amendment to Protect Unpaid Interns Against Sexual Harassment

Mar 21, 2014 / Media Coverage /
Newsweek—By Zach Schonfeld Following a legislative hearing last week, the New York City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to pass an amendment extending sexual harassment and civil rights protections to unpaid interns. The bill amends the New York City Human Rights Law in the wake of a 2013 decision that Lihuan Wang, a former unpaid intern at Phoenix Satellite Television, could not bring a sexual harassment suit because she was not a paid employee. * * * ... the language of the bill has been criticized by advocates who argue that its definition of an intern is too narrow. It requires an...
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Good Steps Against Unpaid Internships

Mar 10, 2014 / Media Coverage /
The New York Times—Editorial Board The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported last year that nearly half of the internships taken by college students in the class of 2013 were unpaid. Many of these arrangements (often temporary, low-level jobs with dubious educational merit) may violate federal labor guidelines, which say that unpaid internships at for-profit companies must be “for the benefit of the intern” and that the employer may not derive an “immediate advantage from the activities of the intern.” Yet colleges, through their career sites, frequently end up promoting...
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South by Southwest’s unpaid labor problem: Why it’s risking a class action lawsuit

Feb 26, 2014 / Media Coverage /—Charles Davis Next month, more than 150,000 people will be in the city of Austin to attend South by Southwest, which started in 1987 as a tiny indie festival but has blossomed into a nine-day conference featuring the hottest names in music and film and politics and computers. There will be live performances and movie premieres alongside panel discussions addressing everything under the hot Texas sun. It’s Coachella mixed with TED talks and some Sundance; a sort of Burning Man for brands, corporate and personal, that is forecast to inject more than $200 million into the local economy...
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Revealed: The Insiders Whose Kids Got White House Internships

Sep 23, 2013 / Media Coverage /
The New Republic—Julia Fisher America has an uneasy relationship with the idea of the unpaid internship. On the one hand, it’s a way for young people to get some experience and learn some things. On the other, it’s a form of resume-building that’s rigged in favor of kids who can afford it—and especially of kids whose connections can get them hired. It seems that this awkwardness goes all the way to the top. At the White House, interns work throughout the Executive Office of the President. Some read letters and staff events, while others help with research or write memos. Applications are...
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Unpaid Internship A Really Great Experience For Local Company (The Onion)

The Onion INDIANAPOLIS—Following the departure this week of their unpaid summer intern, executives at the marketing firm Purwin & Avery reflected on how the internship had turned out to be a really positive experience for their company. “Going into the program we weren’t really sure what to expect, but by the end we realized just how much we had gotten out of it,” department manager Dana Hughes said of the 10 weeks during which their summer intern, Erin, reportedly provided the company with more than 1,500 man-hours of free labor. “It was an invaluable opportunity for us, giving Erin a...
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Adam Klein Discusses Unpaid Intern Litigation, Wage-Hour Issues Related to Remote Connectivity and Employer Misclassification

Aug 1, 2013 / Media Coverage /
Bloomberg BNA—Katarina E. Wiegele Reproduced with permission from FLSA Litigation Tracker, (July 12, 2013). Copyright 2013 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) BLOOMBERG BNA: [Editor’s note: Adam Klein serves as lead counsel for unpaid interns in numerous wagehour class actions currently pending before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, including Xuedan Wang v. Hearst Corp., No. 1:12-cv-00793 (S.D.N.Y. June 27, 2013), Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., No. 1:11-cv-06784 (S.D.N.Y. June 11, 2013), Ballinger v. Advance...
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Hollywood Interns' Lawyer: Cases Will Open Jobs to Less Privileged

Jul 18, 2013 / Media Coverage /
The Hollywood Reporter—Eriq Gardner Justin Swartz, who represents the plaintiffs in several class actions on the internship front, says the litigation is about "social justice." This summer, many entertainment studios and media companies are re-examining their internship programs in light of a judge’s ruling that Fox Searchlight had misclassified two unpaid workers on the film Black Swan. Justin Swartz , a partner at Outten & Golden, spearheaded the groundbreaking litigation against Fox as well as more recent lawsuits against NBCUniversal, Conde Nast, Hearst Corp. and other media...
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FLSA claims by movie studio's unpaid interns are appropriate for classs certification

Jul 16, 2013 / Media Coverage /
Class Action Law Monitor Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., No. 11-6784 (S.D.N.Y. June 11, 2013) In an action alleging nonpayment of wages through the misclassification of the plaintiffs as unpaid interns, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concluded that the totality of the circumstances established that the plaintiffs were employees as a matter of law under federal and state wage laws. The case was appropriate for class action and collective action certification. Fox Entertainment Group Inc. (Fox) was the parent company of Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. (...
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Unpaid Internships Under Fire—Sally Herships Interns are making news. Unpaid interns are suing big companies. The latest is NBC. In some cases, the former interns were also students getting college credit for their work. But they've accused companies of not providing the educational experiences they were promised. In other cases, former interns are claiming they’re doing the same work as regular employees, except, well, they’re working for free. Unpaid internships are a touchy subject. What’s a company to do? Recently, I sent out a tweet which said, “Don’t throw anything at the screen, but any unpaid...
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Courts Consider if Interns Must be Paid

Jul 15, 2013 / Media Coverage /
Bloomberg News—Jim Snyder and Christie Smythe By the time Ladan Nowrasteh got her master's degree in journalism, her resume was stacked with experience. Her bank account wasn't nearly as full. Like many students trying to get a leg up, Nowrasteh, 26, of suburban Falls Church, Va., worked a string of unpaid internships in college and graduate school. She often worked part-time jobs as well to pay for food and rent. "The value I was getting was nonmonetary," said Nowrasteh, who did seven unpaid internships as a student. "I wouldn't have gotten all that experience if I wasn't willing to work for...
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