Internship class-actions lawsuits keep on coming, with the two latest being brought against NBCUniversal and Conde Nast. Moore v. NBC Universal Inc. (S.D.N.Y. filed July 3, 2013); Ballinger v. Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. d/b/a/ Conde Nast Publications (S.D.N.Y. filed June 13, 2013).
The complaint against NBCUniversal was filed by former interns who worked for MSNBC and Saturday Night Live. They allege that they were misclassified as unpaid interns, despite performing the work of paid employees. Each purportedly worked between 24 to 29 hours a week, sometimes more than 10 hours in a single day. They filed a class action lawsuit under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on behalf of similarly situated interns who worked for the company after July 3, 2010. They also filed a companion suit under New York law on behalf of interns who worked for the company after July 3, 2007.
Interns working for Conde Nast are also suing as a class. Named plaintiff Lauren Ballinger alleges that she was paid $12 per day regardless of how many hours she worked in the accessories and jewelry department at W Magazine. Another class member was allegedly paid a total of $300 and $500 respectively for internships in 2009 and 2010 at The New Yorker lasting between two and three months. The Conde Nast interns have also filed suits under both the FLSA and New York law.
Unpaid interns must meet the six-factor test established by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). See Fact Sheet #71 Internships under the FLSA for more information and contact MSEC with questions.