Last fall, we discussed in our blog how there were a number of class action lawsuits making headlines over intern pay.
Remember, legally, unpaid internships are a complex subject. If you are an intern, the company you are providing your services to is required to provide you with an enriching and educational experience that you can fall back on later in life.
Unfortunately, in many of the cases that are making the news, this is allegedly not happening. Some companies are being accused of exploiting interns to save money and not hire additional employees. Unpaid interns are being asked to perform tasks that would normally be assigned to paid workers.
Viacom Settles Intern Lawsuit for $7.2 Million
We bring up this subject because recently there was a class action lawsuit settlement that may have ramifications nationally. According to the Los Angeles Times, media giant Viacom has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought on by former interns at its television networks, including MTV and BET for $7.2 million.
The unpaid interns alleged that Viacom violated federal wage laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), by not compensating them. The plaintiffs claimed that they were asked to perform tasks as a way for the company to save money, which was not to their benefit. More than 1,000 former interns were included in the group covered by the proposed settlement, according to the Times.
The Times said that interns, who worked for Viacom’s networks in New York between August 13, 2007 and June 1, 2013, could be eligible for damages.
Pursuing a Lawsuit Over Unpaid Wages
As this shows, class action lawsuits can be an effective way for plaintiffs to seek back pay in wage and overtime disputes. Aside from interns, there have been numerous stories in the news recently about people filing lawsuits in relation to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), seeking damages. Among the other industries where this is becoming popular are fast food and retail work.
If you have suffered financially because of the actions of an employer, Gary S. Graifman, Esq. is here for you. Schedule a free initial consultation or complete the form on this page. In addition to victims of wage theft, we represent employees affected by discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Class Action Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: An estimated 46.5 percent of the collegiate class of 2014 participated in an unpaid internship or co-op position prior to graduation.