According to this lawsuit, two men who worked on the movie “Black Swan” are challenging the industry’s accepted unpaid internship policy by claiming that Fox Searchlight Pictures, the production company for the movie, had their interns do basic work that should have been done by paid employees and they also claim that the company did not provide them with any type of educational experience that labor rules require in order to exempt employers from paying their interns.
The lawsuit also states that, “In misclassifying many of its workers as unpaid interns, Fox Searchlight has denied them the benefits that the law affords to employees.” One of the plaintiffs’s Alex Footman, worked on “Black Swain” from October 2009 until February 2010 and claims his responsibilities included preparing coffee for the office, making sure the coffee pot was full, taking and handing out lunch orders to the production staff, cleaning the office and taking out the trash. The other plaintiff, Eric Glatt, claimed he prepared documents for purchase orders and petty cash, traveled to the set to get signatures on documents, and created spreadsheets to track missing information in an employee’s file.
The lawsuit is seeking class action for what the plaintiffs claim were more than one hundred unpaid interns on various Fox Searchlight Productions. The lawsuit is also seeking back pay under federal and state minimum wage laws and seeking an injunction barring Fox Searchlight from improperly using unpaid interns. Russell Nelson, a Fox Searchlight spokesman, said, “We just learned of this litigation and have not had a chance to review it so we cannot make any comment at this time.”
When employees do the work that is expected of, they expect to get paid properly and they also expect to get paid fairly for the hours they work. However, many companies and businesses in all types of fields are finding ways around paying their employees what they are entitled to and are violating the law by doing so. If you or someone you know feels like you are being improperly paid for the work you do, then you should contact a Tennessee employment minimum wage and overtime pay lawyer as soon as possible. They will hear your case and work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
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