Tag Archives: intern

Indiana Court Rejects Claim that Scholar-Athletes Are Employees under FLSA

Last week, an Indiana federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought by former University of Pennsylvania (“Penn”) athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) and a number of its member schools over their alleged employment status and corresponding minimum wage protection under the FLSA. Berger, et al. v. NCAA, et al., S.D. Ind., No. 1:14-CV-01710, … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Adopts Second Circuit’s “Primary Beneficiary” Test to Determine Compensability of Internships

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit last week adopted the Second Circuit’s “primary beneficiary” test as the appropriate test for determining whether an unpaid clinical intern was truly an “employee” within the meaning of the FLSA. Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, P.A., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16194 (11th Cir. 2015). In rejecting the test … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Federal Court: Cosmetology Student Not An “Employee” Entitled To Minimum Wage

Last week, a Pennsylvania federal judge held that a former cosmetology school student was not entitled to minimum wage as an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law. Jochim v. Jean Madeline Educ. Ctr. of Cosmetology, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45663 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 8, 2015). … Continue Reading

Origins of Wage-and-Hour Jurisprudence: Portland Terminal

Many current FLSA compensation issues which are the subject of widespread litigation – such as the current wave of intern cases – have their legal underpinnings in Supreme Court authority decided during the 1940s in the years following the enactment of the FLSA (1938) and the Portal-to-Portal Act (1947).  For example, courts seeking to interpret … Continue Reading

Chamber of Commerce’s Amicus Brief Argues For Economic Value of Internships to Businesses, Employees and Students

As the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit prepares to hear argument and ultimately rule in the consolidated appeal involving former interns for Hearst Publishing and Fox Searchlight seeking minimum wage under the FLSA, the Court received amicus submissions from several organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest employer association. The Chamber’s … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Ruling That Public Sector Union President Was “Volunteer” Outside Protection Of FLSA

Courts continue to wrestle with claims brought by individuals treated by businesses as  outside the scope of the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.  Many of these claims are asserted by individuals classified as volunteers and of course interns, all claiming to be employees entitled to the protections of the FLSA.  In one such case, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Declines Review of Intern Compensability Issue

While the compensability of time spent in internship programs continues to be an hotly contested litigation issue, the United States Supreme Court has declined an opportunity to provide clarity in this area, denying certiorari to a Florida medical billing intern whose claim was rejected last year by the Eleventh Circuit.  Kaplan v. Code Blue Billing … Continue Reading

Intern Filings Seeking Alleged Unpaid Wages Continue

In the wake of the first substantive decisions issued as part of the growing trend of wage-and-hour claims being initiated by interns recently seeking alleged unpaid minimum wages and overtime, several more high profile filings have become public over the last few weeks, including most recently a claim against popular internet media conglomerate Gawker. Mark, et … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit: “Externs” Who Received Academic Credit Are Not Employees Under FLSA

As discussed in this space just last week, there is an ongoing war regarding compensation of interns under the FLSA. In a victory for employers, last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that individuals completing externships relating to their enrollment in MedVance Institute’s Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program were … Continue Reading

New York Judge Rejects Interns’ Novel Argument That Paying School Tuition Is An Indirect Wage Deduction

In the latest chapter in the ongoing intern battles currently being waged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Harold Baer rejected plaintiffs’ novel assertion of unlawful wage deductions. Wang v. Hearst Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3768 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2013). The Wang litigation concerns the applicability of the … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Holds Former Student Turned “Volunteer” Was Just That, Not Employee Under The FLSA

This blog has explained that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not expressly authorize unpaid interns, and the viability of unpaid internships is generally assessed through the FLSA’s definition of an unpaid “trainee.” Application of this trainee test to various interns and volunteers is often murky and inconsistent. In a new decision deftly navigating this difficult analysis, … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Bloggers’ Compensation Suit

Following appeal of a New York trial court decision issued last spring, the Second Circuit has rejected three Huffington Post (the “Post”) bloggers’ claims to recover $105 million allegedly owed to them and the Post’s other bloggers under theories of unjust enrichment and deceptive business practices. Tasini, et al. v. AOL, Inc., et al., 2d Cir., … Continue Reading

Volunteer Firefighter Not “Employee” Under the FLSA

As litigation over the alleged “employee” status of unpaid interns continues, employers and courts continue to analyze whether other service providers are “employees” under the FLSA who must receive minimum wage and overtime for hours in excess of 40.  Consistent with the Sixth Circuit’s employer-friendly ruling on a similar issue, the Court of Appeals for … Continue Reading

Reminder: The Perils of Interns

Since the Fair Labor Standards Act contains no provision contemplating the concept of the unpaid intern, employers often find themselves defending their decision to classify someone who provides services to the company as being outside the protections afforded “employees” under the statute. Such a defense can be challenging, although one vocational school in Tennessee succeeded in … Continue Reading

California DLSE Modifies Its Standard For Legality of Unpaid Internships

Subsequent to our post of April 6, the California DLSE issued a lengthy new opinion letter regarding trainees, available here. In it, the Division upholds the uncompensated “intern” status of participants in the Year Up program, a program in which a not-for-profit places 18-24 year olds in underserved communities to develop marketable skills in the information … Continue Reading
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