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"Unpaid Internships Are A Form Of Wage Theft:" 42-Year-Old Intern Who Won Lawsuit Speaks Out

  • U.S.
  • 07.05.13 10:27 AM EDT

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Eric Glatt was an intern for the $300-million-grossing movie "Black Swan" and, like many interns across the country, he was unpaid for his work. Unlike most interns, Glatt was 42-years-old. He was willing to work for free to change his career path but found that the role he filled deserved pay. A judge agreed and on June 11 ordered Fox Searchlight to pay him and another intern, Alexander Footman, the retroactive minimum wage they worked for.

Judge William Pauley found that it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that lists six criteria legitimizing an unpaid internship, mainly that it must educate the intern and not merely replace a paid position at the benefit of the company. 

"They worked as paid employees work, providing an immediate advantage to their employer and performing low-level tasks not requiring a specialized training," Pauley said. The judge added that this "will have a much broader impact in terms of making corporations reexamine their internship programs."

Fox is hoping to appeal the decision.