Judge: Movie Studio Interns Should Have Been Paid

Case could have broad implications for unpaid workers

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black woman and white man working on computerInterns in various industries and at various companies can have diverse duties and experiences, but according to a judge in New York, one film studio went too far in terms of unpaid interns and their responsibilities.

A Manhattan federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and New York state minimum wage laws by not paying its production interns, the New York Times reports.

Judge William H. Pauley says the studio should have paid two interns on the movie “Black Swan,” because they were being used like regular employees and their internships did not foster a strictly educational environment.

The Times notes that the case could have broad implications, as an increasing number of young people have flocked to internships in a weak job market. According to research by Intern Bridge, undergraduates complete more than 1 million internships annually. An estimated half of those are unpaid.

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  • Chiryder

    This could be huge. I’ve seen plenty of companies hire “interns” just to use them for free labor. There are things you do and don’t do as an intern. You shouldn’t be doing the same 9 to 5 as a paid employee. Especially if the company has no intention of hiring you.