"We don't want to replace entry level jobs with interns who aren't being paid," the former interns' attorney tells TheWrap
Gawker is the latest media company to be sued by its former interns.
Bloomberg reports that three former Gawker interns filed suit against the company in a Manhattan federal court Friday. They allege that they worked at least 15 hours a week writing, researching, and promoting articles for Gawker's sites for no pay.
The suits follows a series of legal actions against media companies for their use of unpaid interns in the wake of a partial judgment against Fox Searchlight for its use of interns on "Black Swan."
"We don't want to replace entry level jobs with interns who aren't being paid," attorney Andrea M. Paparella, who is representing the interns, said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "Not everybody can afford to take an unpaid job when they graduate college. And they could be shut out of certain industries if this was a norm of having certain industries having unpaid internship programs."
She added: "Minimum wage law says, even if a person agrees to it, you can't pay them less than minimum wage. Imagine what the implications would be. It would make minimum wage meaningless."
Conde Nast interns filed a class-action lawsuit against the company on June 13. An intern at Warner Music Group filed a lawsuit on June 17. All lawsuits are seeking back wages.
A class action lawsuit filed on behalf of unpaid interns against Hearst was thrown out in May, though the judge in that case said the plaintiffs kept the right to sue Hearst as individuals.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report