Unpaid Internships: Are They Legal?

Unpaid Internships: Are They Legal? Play

How do you get a job without experience? How do you get experience without a job? The answer for many years, in competitive media industries like journalism, publishing, television production, and filmmaking, has been unpaid internships. But have unpaid internships been violating labor laws? Law professor David Yamada says it's been "a sleeping-giant issue for many years." A recent court decision may bring the issue to a head. Interns who worked on the movie "Black Swan" sued Fox Searchlight and won. The interns, ostensibly on the set to learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, learned more about the fine arts of organizing file cabinets, making photocopies, and taking lunch orders. Tasks that the court found "would have required paid employees." (Source: Bloomberg)

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