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A Victory for Unpaid Interns

A New York judge recently ruled for unpaid interns who worked on the hit movie Black Swan. The ruling held that the two men “were essentially regular employees” and that “these internships did not foster an educational environment and that the studio received the benefits of the work.” Fox’s argument was that its internship program falls under US labor department standards for unpaid interns in that the internships are mostly for the benefit of the intern rather than for Fox. The judge considered a totality of the circumstances in deciding that the interns were misclassified. He reasoned that the benefits they received in the form of knowledge about the industry was merely the product of having worked as any other employee worked, not because the internship was designed to be specifically educational to the interns with little value to Fox.