Sunday, July 19, 2015

Internships may be unpaid, court rules, if they benefit intern more than employer, and serve an educational purpose

A class action lawsuit, seeking to make many unpaid internships legally repugnant, has been sent back to a lower court.  The NY Times has the story:

Employers Have Greater Leeway on Unpaid Internships, Court Rules (this is one of those cases in which the URL is more informative than the headline: )

"Employers  have considerable leeway to use unpaid interns legally when the work serves an educational purpose, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, setting aside a lower court decision that the movie studio Fox Searchlight Pictures had improperly classified former workers as unpaid interns rather than employees.

The decision, which sends the case back to the lower court, could have broad ramifications for the way employers rely on unpaid labor. It erects large barriers to further class-action lawsuits by unpaid interns against companies where they had worked."

Here's an op-ed regretting the decision: Interns, Victimized Yet Again, by Ross Perlin the author of “Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy.”

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