Cough up the money, NBC: Two interns head class-action lawsuit on unpaid wages for their work at MSNBC and Saturday Night Live
- Jesse Moore worked as a booking intern for MSNBC and Monet Eliastam worked as a production intern for Saturday Night Live
- They are represented by the same firm that successfully won the case for former Black Swan intern, Eric Glatt
- If they win, the past six years of unpaid interns at NBCUniversal could get paid for their time
By Ashley Collman PUBLISHED: , 12 July 2013 DailyMail
After the monumental ruling last month awarding unpaid wages to an intern who worked on the film Black Swan, two new lawsuits have sprung up against NBCUniversal from former interns.
In a lawsuit filed July 3, two former interns of NBCUniversal are suing the media company for unpaid wages for their time spent as interns on two of the company’s television shows.
Jesse Moore worked as a booking department intern at MSNBC and Monet Eliastam worked as a production intern for Saturday Night Live.
The lawsuit alleges that ‘a key part of NBCUniversal’s success are the hundreds of unpaid or underpaid interns who work for it as production assistants, researchers, and delivery-people, but receive no or very little compensation for their work.’
Both Moore and Eliastam reported working for more than 10 hours a day sometimes, while the lawsuit also states that NBC ‘did not provide academic or vocational training.’
Their tasks as interns listed in the lawsuit – filing petty cash envelopes, fetching coffee, and booking travel – seem more like training for secretarial positions than jobs in production.
In New York, that means interns from the past six years.
Both Moore and Eliastam are being represented by the employment law firm Outten & Golden, the same firm that represented Eric Glatt in his successful case against Fox Searchlight for his time spent as an accounting intern on Black Swan.
Ross Eisenbrey, a specialist in labor and employment law, explained why Outten & Golden keep taking up these cases even though there is little to be gained financially.
Since these cases are dealing with unpaid minimum wages, the cases don’t amount to much unless grouped together in class-action suits with numerous defendants.
‘They are hoping that some of these suits will pay off, but I think that they’re willing to take a chance and prosecute some of these without a big payoff at the end,’ Eisenbrey told Bloomberg Businessweek. ‘The way to stop this practice is to bring big suits and win.’