Former interns of Fox Entertainment Group are seeking to expand an already large class action lawsuit against the company, alleging that their internship program violated federal minimum wage and overtime laws. The lawsuit was initially brought by two interns who were associated with the production of the Black Swan and named only Fox Searchlight, but attorneys representing them now say it's become clear that the same problems affected many more interns throughout Fox.
The interns were not paid for any of their work, despite being treated like paid employees in many other ways. For example, they filled out tax forms and signed confidentiality agreements. The interns were also eligible under workers compensation laws.
The lead plaintiffs are seeking to expand the lawsuit to include all interns working for the large parent company, arguing that all of them are subject to identical policies, meaning that their injuries and the cause of the injuries would be the same. There may be two separate groups within the class defined by their job duties. The lawsuit only applies to interns working for Fox before 2010, when the company began paying just above minimum wage.
Former interns have been pursuing fair compensation much more frequently in recent years than in the past. As internships become a more necessary way for inexperienced workers to break into the job market, the labor practices surrounding those internships have come under increased scrutiny.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Fox's Entire Internship Program Now Under Legal Attack" Eriq Gardner, Aug. 13, 2012