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“Black Swan” intern suit may get bigger

Plaintiffs petitioned to file two separate class action suits

Unpaid interns are angry … that’s nothing new. But if a recent filing is any indication of their most recent state of mind, it’s this: They’re getting even angrier.

Last year, two unpaid interns who worked on the film “Black Swan” filed suit against the movie’s production company, Fox Searchlight Pictures, claiming it violated labor laws. Now the plaintiffs want to file an amended suit to "broaden the scope of the case to include all interns who participated in Fox Entertainment Group's internship program," a court filing on Monday said. Fox Entertainment Group (FEG) is the parent company of Fox Searchlight.

According to court documents, an investigation into the case determined that “the same hiring, personnel and company policies that applied to Searchlight interns applied to all interns who participated in FEG internship program."

The suit claims that interns were not paid even though they were required to fill out I-9 forms, sign confidentiality agreements and would have been considered “employees” under workers compensation laws. The plaintiffs now seek to separate the suit into two separate classes—one to cover those who were corporate interns and the other to cover those who were production interns.

Read more about this story in The Hollywood Reporter.

This suit is only one of many of its kind making headlines lately. Read other InsideCounsel stories about unpaid interns fighting back in court as well as advice on how to handle corporate internship programs:

Labor: When unpaid interns become unpaid employees

Labor: The perils of using unpaid interns

Unpaid interns sue talk show host Charlie Rose

Slate looks at the social problems surrounding unpaid internships

Former unpaid intern sues Hearst Corp., seeks class action


Cathleen Flahardy

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