There have been a number of stories in the news recently involving interns filing class action lawsuits to obtain back pay.
Internships can be tricky—they are supposed to benefit the people doing the work, by providing them with an enriching experience that they can use later in employment. However, in some of the cases, this does not appear to be happening.
Often, employers pay interns to avoid legal headaches; however, many internships are still unpaid, which can result in scrutiny.
Recently, a former unpaid intern filed a class action lawsuit against CBS and Worldwide Pants, David Letterman’s production company, for violating minimum wage and overtime laws.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mallory Musallam filed the lawsuit, alleging that the companies “intentionally minimized labor costs by giving work to unpaid interns instead of having paid employees stay extra hours or hiring additional employees to do it.”
In her lawsuit, Musallam claims that she worked more than 40 hours per week and did not receive academic or vocation training. She reportedly worked on the Late Show With David Letterman in the fall of 2008.
The lawsuit says that Musallam was responsible for “research[ing] interview material, deliver[ing] film clips from libraries, running errands, faxing, scanning, operating the switchboard and other similar duties.”
The lawsuit is seeking back pay for unpaid interns who worked for the companies over the last six years.
How Do I File a Class Action Lawsuit to Get Back Pay?
Class action lawsuits are an effective way for employees to seek back pay in wage and overtime disputes. This is becoming increasingly common in industries that rely heavily on unpaid interns to perform tasks that would normally be assigned to paid workers.
Additionally, there have been many lawsuits filed recently involving underpaid food service or retail workers, who claim that employers have been forcing them to work off the clock and through scheduled breaks illegally.
If you have suffered financially because of the actions of your employer, please contact Gary S. Graifman, Esq. at (800) 711-5258 to schedule a free initial consultation.
We have pursued individual and employee litigation against employers that have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Class Action Lawyers