NBCUniversal has agreed to pay $6.4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by unpaid interns at “Saturday Night Live” and other NBC shows alleging violation of wage laws.
The details of the agreement were contained in court papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York by attorneys for the interns. The deal still must be signed off by the judge.
Attorneys Outten & Golden LLP alleged in the federal court lawsuit that NBCUniversal violated federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. The complaint was originally filed on behalf of two former interns, Jesse Moore, who worked on MSNBC, and Monet Eliastam, who worked on “SNL,” but Moore dropped out of the litigation.
Eliastam regularly worked 25 or more hours per week at “Saturday Night Live” in 2012 but was never paid, the original lawsuit alleged.
Under the agreement, Eliastam would get $10,000, while other interns who later joined the litigation would receive between $2,000 and $5,000. The rest of the interns in the class-action suit would get an average of $505.
The agreement covers any other workers who had unpaid internships with NBCUniversal or its predecessor NBC Universal Inc. “and/or its affiliated entities,” according to the documents. It also covers $1.2 million in legal costs.
“This case is similar to others than we’ve filed in that it highlights the predominance of unpaid work in the media industry,” one of their attorneys, Juno Turner, told TheWrap at the time the lawsuit was filed. “Our clients, like the plaintiffs in the other cases, worked hard for no pay and we think it’s clear that they should have been compensated for that work because they contributed to the success of NBCUniversal’s operation.”
NBC declined TheWrap’s request for comment.