Monthly Archives: June 2013

Intern Labor Rights meets next on Thursday, June 27 at 5:30pm


Intern Labor Rights meets next on Thursday, June 27 at 5:30pm at the Goethe-Institut’s  Wyoming Building in NYC: 5 East 3rd Street (at the Bowery). We’ll be in their storefront space. Anyone is welcome to join! Email us at if you have any questions. We’d love to meet you!


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Pics from Solidarity Action with UN Interns


More info to come, but check out the album from our very successful action in solidarity with UN Interns!

Solidarity Action with UN Interns


Intern Labor Rights will meet across from the United Nations at Ralph Bunche Park, 42nd Street and First Avenue on Thursday, June 20th at 4pm sharp for an action in solidarity with unpaid interns at the United Nations. Please join us!

We will be bringing “Pay Your Interns” t-shirts and buttons and materials for leafleting. After assembling at the park, we will move up First Avenue to 45th Street, a prominent location in front of the UN’s landmark General Assembly and Secretariat buildings.

Ralph Bunche Park (map), 42nd Street and First Avenue, 4pm

Following our action, we will proceed downtown to join the Intern Happy Hour at 6pm at Brads, a restaurant and bar near Washington Square. Join us at the Happy Hour too!

Brads (map), 10 Waverly Place, 6pm

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Intern Happy Hour

If you’re in NYC, come to our next Intern Happy Hour!

We’ll be meeting at Brad’s (10 Waverly Pl.) at 6PM.  All are welcome, please invite your friends on Facebook.

Know your rights, share your stories: receiving college credit is not sufficient grounds for an internship to be unpaid!


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Updates on the Fox Searchlight ruling

For coverage and debate on the Fox Searchlight ruling in favor of unpaid interns, visit our Press page. We just posted link to two videos (MSNBC and Al Jazeera) with excellent discussions on the issue. We will keep it as updated as possible!

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Former unpaid interns at Fox Searchlight win lawsuit in landmark ruling


On June 11, 2013 Federal Judge William Pauley III ruled that former unpaid interns Alexander Footman and Eric Glatt were wrongfully classified during their work on the film Black Swan, and their “employer” Fox Searchlight was in violation of Federal and State minimum wage law:

“Considering the totality of the circumstances, Glatt and Footman were classified improperly as unpaid interns and are ‘employees’ covered by the FLSA and NYLL,” said the judge, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “They worked as paid employees work, providing an immediate advantage to their employer and performed low-level tasks not requiring specialized training. The benefits they may have received – such as the knowledge of how a production or accounting office functions or references for future jobs – are the results of simply having worked as any other employee works, not of internships designed to be uniquely educational to the interns and of little utility to the employer.”

In response to the common assertion by employers that internships are legal when they are done in exchange for college credit, the judge stated that this is of little consequence in determining whether the intern should receive compensation.  According to the New York Times, Judge Pauley “forcefully called for following criteria that the Department of Labor has laid out for unpaid internships. Those rules say 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.”

To view a the full summary of judgment click here (PDF)

The judge also certified a class action suit that will explore internships throughout the corporate departments at Fox.

Intern Labor Rights congratulates Alex and Eric for taking a brave stance against the corporation Fox Searchlight. Other than being illegal in most cases, unpaid internships also violate basic principles of fairness and justice:

•  Contributing to unemployment and inequality

•  Denying of opportunity to those who cannot afford to work for free

•  Reducing diversity in the workforce by relying on structural privilege

•  Eroding employment-based workplace protections

•  Devaluing of the dignity of work

•  Creating downward pressure on the wages of workers who have to compete with free labor

•  Promoting accumulation of wealth by some through the uncompensated work of others

•  Producing a culture of self-denigration

PAY YOUR INTERNS (it’s the law).

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Intern Labor Rights meets next on Thursday, June 13. Join us!

Intern Labor Rights meets next on Thursday, June 13 at 6:00pm at Goethe Institut’s Wyoming Building in NYC: 5 East 3rd Street (at the Bowery). We’ll be in their storefront space. Anyone is welcome to join! Email us at if you have any questions.PYI_site