Outten & Golden LLP: Court Rules for Unpaid Interns, Certifies Class Action
NEW YORK, June 12, 2013
NEW YORK, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A New York federal court ruled Fox
Searchlight Pictures Inc. and Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. are liable for
failing to pay interns in violation offederal and state labor laws,Outten &
In the first ruling of its kind, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley
III, of the Southern District of New York, ruled Tuesday that named plaintiffs
Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman were employees of defendant Fox Searchlight
Pictures and protected by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and
state wage and hour law. Judge Pauley also held that plaintiff Eden Antalik
may prosecute her claims as a class action against the defendants on behalf of
interns employed by certain FEG subsidiaries.
The interns worked as production assistants, bookkeepers, secretaries and
janitors on films produced and co-produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Mr.
Glatt and Mr. Footman were unpaid interns who worked on production of the film
Black Swan in New York. After production ended, Mr. Glatt took a second unpaid
internship relating to Black Swan's post-production. Ms. Antalik was an unpaid
intern at Searchlight's corporate offices in New York.
Mr. Glatt said, "This decision should serve as a warning to employers across
the country. You cannot simply slap the term 'intern' on a job description and
think that relieves you of the legal and ethical obligation to pay wages for
the labor that helps your organization succeed."
The interns are represented by Adam T. Klein, Rachel M. Bien, Juno Turner, and
Sally J. Abrahamson, of Outten & Golden LLP's New York office. The firm was
appointed class counsel by the court.
Ms. Bien said, "This important ruling re-affirms that unpaid internships are
not lawful unless they are part of a real training program that involves much
more than just learning on the job, and they are not lawful if the interns'
work provides a direct benefit to the company. It also emphasizes the
importance of allowing interns to band together in class actions and challenge
companies' illegal unpaid internship policies."
In his ruling, the judge wrote of the interns, "They performed tasks that
would have required paid employees...Menial as it was, their work was
essential. The fact they were beginners is irrelevant... [T]he FLSA does not
allow employees to waive their entitlement to wages."
Mr. Klein said, "Federal and state law is clear when it comes to unpaid
internships, but too many hard-working students are caught between their
universities and the industries they hope to join upon graduation. The court's
ruling in this case not only firmly establishes that the former Fox interns
can recover the wages to which they are entitled, but also shows companies
everywhere how interns should be treated."
The class action covers individuals who had unpaid internships between Sept.
28, 2008 and Sept. 1, 2010 with one or more of the following FEG divisions:
Fox Filmed Entertainment, Fox Group, Fox Networks Group, and Fox Interactive
Media (renamed News Corp. Digital Media).
Filed in September 2011, the lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid wages, overtime
pay, unreimbursed expenses, liquidated damages, interest and attorneys' fees
for unpaid interns.
Unpaid interns who believe they may be part of the class should contactJuno
Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-4OUTTEN to ensure they receive
updates on developments in the case.
The case is "Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman, et al., v. Fox Searchlight
Pictures, Inc.," No. 1:11-cv-06784 in the U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York.
Media Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Outten & Golden LLP,
281.703.6000 or email@example.com.
SOURCE Outten & Golden LLP
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.