Two days after a judge ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated labor laws by using unpaid interns during the filming of Black Swan, two former Conde Nast interns sued their former employer for also using unpaid labor. And, with the Black Swan's success, and Conde Nast's possible success, law experts expect more class-action lawsuits to come. Domino, tipped.
From the Huffington Post:
Employment lawyers said that decision and similar lawsuits that are likely to follow would force employers to reconsider using unpaid or underpaid interns, first in "glamour" industries such as movies and publishing, where the practice has become standard, and then in industries that have implemented similar policies to reduce labor costs in a flagging economy.
"This trend is probably going to expand beyond media companies and beyond New York," said Laura O'Donnell, a lawyer at Haynes & Boone in San Antonio who represents management in labor disputes. "I think employers in all industries across the country need to take note."
This is what happens when you promise kids "experience," and wind up just using them as a cheap way to replace full-time employees. Pay interns like minimum wage employees if you treat them like minimum-wage employees—otherwise, teach them skills other than how to use a copier. In other words, follow the labor laws that have been on the books for years. It's simple. And it's actually ethical.
[H/T: Huffington Post]