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Live From New York, Saturday Night Live Intern Sues NBC

NBCUniversal was sued in New York by two former interns who claim they should have been paid for their work.

Monet Eliastam, a former Saturday Night Live intern, and former MSNBC intern Jesse Moore sued NBC in federal court in Manhattan today claiming unpaid wages. They’re seeking to represent a class of interns who worked for NBC in New York since July 3, 2007.

“A key part of NBCUniversal’s success are the hundreds of unpaid or underpaid interns who work for it as production assistants, researchers, and delivery-people, but receive no or very little compensation for their work,” Eliastam and Moore said in their complaint.

Last month, a federal judge in New York ruled that moviemaker Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. violated labor laws by not paying two of its interns. Cases have also been brought against Hearst Corp., Conde Nast Publications and the Public Broadcasting Service’s Charlie Rose Show.

Eliastam said she worked at least 25 hours a week for Saturday Night Live, NBC’s 37-year-old comedy show, completing paperwork for extras, running errands, guarding the set and processing petty cash envelopes. Moore worked 24 or more hours a week at MSNBC, the cable news channel, answering phones, taking guests to get makeup and to the set and arranging travel for correspondents and guests.

Allyson Federbush, a spokeswoman for NBCUniversal, didn’t immediately respond to a voice-mail message after regular business hours seeking comment the lawsuit.

The case is Moore v. NBCUniversal, 13-cv-04634, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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