Interns For “Black Swan” Should Have Been Paid, Judge Rules
Federal Court Judge, William H. Pauley III, ruled in favor of two former production interns, Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman, who didn’t get paid while they worked “essentially as regular employees” on the set of “Black Swan,” according to NBC News.
Judge Pauley ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated more than a few minimum wage laws– his decision was also influenced by the lack of education in the intern’s work environment.
This decision for the first of many lawsuits filed by unpaid interns could impact significant industries who rely heavily on interns but don’t monetarily compensate them for their work. For interns who are hoping to land a full time job or gain experience in a specific field, this decision could mean not ordering from the dollar menu everyday.
In contrast with the experiences of many college students, Judge Pauley says that receiving college credit for internships don’t negate the need for paid internships. Interns should be unpaid in rare cases, he says. Judge Pauley laid out the four criteria of proper paid internships, which, according to NBC News, is as follows:
“Unpaid internships should not be to the immediate advantage of the employer, the work must be similar to vocational training given in an educational environment, the experience must be for the benefit of the intern and the intern’s work must not displace that of regular employees.”
According to NBC News, spokesman for 20th Century Fox, Chris Petrikin said the decision was “erroneous” and they are seeking a reversal on the ruling.
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