NBCUniversal and a group of former interns have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit contending the interns should have been paid for their work, it was reported today.
The $6.4 million settlement, subject to court approval, would be shared by thousands of interns, including some who worked at “Saturday Night Live,” the Los Angeles Times reported on its website this morning.
The lawsuit is among several that have roiled the entertainment industry in New York and Los Angeles, where unpaid internships have long been a cost-saver for television networks, movie studios, production companies and music labels — and a foot in the door for Hollywood hopefuls, according to the Times.
The settlement would be the largest yet among several cases filed by interns against entertainment companies. However, attorney Cheryl Orr, chairwoman of Drinker Biddle & Reath’s national labor and employment practice, said in an email to The Times that she “would not put too much stock in the ‘precedent’ created by” the NBCUniversal settlement.
“There may (or may not) have been other business factors impacting the outcome,” she said. “Certainly these cases will continue to be hard-fought.”