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Unpaid Internships – July 2015

In the October 2013 issue of the Firm’s Newsletter, we wrote about the risks of unpaid internships and discussed in detail the case of Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. In the Fox case, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “District Court”) had held that several unpaid interns should have been classified as employees entitled to at least minimum wage because their internships did not meet the six (6) factors set forth by the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), all of which had to be met for an internship to be unpaid. DOL had, in turn, derived those factors from Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., a case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1947, which held that certain brakemen-trainees were not employees during their training. In addition, the District Court in Fox had granted class certification under New York law and collective certification under federal law, thus allowing potentially hundreds of similarly situated unpaid interns over a six (6) year period to join the lawsuit.

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