The two interns suing Fox Searchlight for their unpaid internships on the set of Black Swan just had their case upgraded to a class action by a New York federal judge, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new status requires a bunch of amended filings, but the upshot is that more former underpaid coffee fetchers can join the case. "What this means as a practical manner is that the scope of the punitive class is much larger," Elizabeth Wagoner, the lawyer crusading for interns with glamorous positions told THR's Eriq Gardner. "The lawsuit will not only cover Fox Searchlight, but all interns covered by the hiring practices (that led to the named plaintiffs' being interns)." That also means potential bigger consequences for Fox, which could, pending a legal win for the interns, have to pay out wages to a lot more than just two unhappy production workers.
RELATED: Labor Laws Don't Just Apply to Unpaid Interns Who Are Good at Their Jobs
This is already (presumably) a personal win for Wagoner, who now can say she has two class-action intern lawsuits going. The intern suing Hearst had her suit upgraded to a collective action, which includes "all persons who worked as unpaid or underpaid interns at Hearst's magazines between February 1, 2009, and until the case is resolved." Huzzah. (Just one more to go for that hat-trick!) Both these suits, of course, have a ways to go until the final decisions, and wins aren't guaranteed. At some point a letter will go out to former unpaid interns who qualify for the respective cases, who can then decide if they want to join. Until then, sit tight, disgruntled dues payers.
- Company Legal & Law Matters
- Politics & Government
- Fox Searchlight