NBC has agreed to settle Fair Labor Standards Act () lawsuit filed by interns who worked on “Saturday Night Live.” The interns filed a class-action lawsuit against the network last year, alleging that NBC used interns in place paid workers, a practice the FLSA forbids.
A federal judge must still approve the $6.4 million settlement.
The plaintiffs successfully demonstrated that NBC did not provide interns the kind of educational experience the FLSA envisions. To qualify as a bona fide unpaid internship, the intern must receive instruction similar to what they would have received in a classroom setting. While supervisors may manage interns, the FLSA does not allow employers to use interns in place of paid employees.
Note: Internships are supposed to be designed for the intern’s benefit. Employers are not required to hire an intern following the internship. To protect all parties, employers should have an internship agreement that clearly spells out all of the internship’s terms.