Apparently, TV personality Stephen Colbert wasn’t kidding about mistreating Jay the intern.
Colbert’s former employer, Viacom, has agreed to settle claims by current and former interns at its Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon properties.
The suit claims that 12,500 interns performed work similar to that of paid employees.
The agreement covers interns who worked in New York from August 2007 to June 2013 and California from September 2010 to June 2013.
Class members may submit claims of $505 per semester worked, up to a maximum of $1,010.
The two lead plaintiffs in the case, MTV intern Casey Ojeda and Viacom HR department intern, Karina Reynaga, will each receive $5,000. Additionally, the plaintiffs’ attorneys plan on seeking damages that could be as high as $900,000.
Note: U.S. Department of Labor regulations require employers to provide an educational experience for interns, not use them as cheap labor.
Advice: Have your attorney review your intern program to ensure it complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act.