Recognizing the need to provide clarity to the business community in light of voluminous litigation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently agreed to hear appeals in the Fox and Hearst intern cases. Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., Case Number 13-2467, 11/26/13. The Court will examine the different legal tests and analyses utilized by Southern District New York Judges Pauley and Baer in those cases, and clarify the standard for determining when an intern is or is not an employee who must receive minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Hearst appeal and flood of intern litigation highlight the importance of wage-and-hour compliance for all businesses, as indeed many employers have ceased internship programs due to the legal uncertainty in this area. Employers contemplating the implementation, modification or elimination of an internship program should consult with counsel in their jurisdiction.