Tag Archives: interns

Our next meeting is Sunday, April 13th, 5:30pm

Have you been following the recent legislature proposed by NYC City Council, the Department of Labor intervening on behalf of Heart Interns,  or the latest  groups who are finally making an effort to pay their interns?

And have you signed and shared our petition to Mayor de Blasio demanding a fair wage for interns?

Come join us in another discussion exploring these rising initiatives to address the state of the intern economy!

We will meet again on Sunday, April 13th at 5:30pm at the Goethe Institute (5 East 3rd Street, just off the corner of East 3rd and the Bowery – NOTE: This is not the main Goethe Institute building).

Everyone is welcome to come to our meetings! Our meetings are informal and are structured by collective dialogue and action. We hope you can join us as the momentum picks up towards the intern rights revolution!

See you Sunday!



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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 intern.labor.rights@gmail.com if you have any questions. We’d love to meet you!


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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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