Landmark Ruling on Unpaid Internships

Interns working at Fox Searchlight were treated just like any other employee. They learned about the specifics of their workplace, they got a line on their resume, they got the same opportunities and training that any paid employee got. And no more.

That means they weren’t really “interns.”  They were just free labor.    Continue reading

Supreme Court Sounded Death Knell for Collective Wage Cases — Or Did They? Justice Kagan’s Brilliant Dissent

The Supreme Court this morning handed down its decision in Genesis Health Care Corp v. Symczyk, which I’ve written about in the past. Sadly, I’m in the midst of deposition madness right now and don’t have time to write a proper analysis.

Instead, I’m just going to post the entirety of Justice Elena Kagan’s dissent below, in all its snarky brilliant glory. Enjoy! Continue reading

The Fate of Collective Actions in the Hands of the Supreme Court

This week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of Symczyk v. Genesis HealthCare Corp next term. For a variety of reasons, this decision could well determine the fate of collective, and maybe even class, actions. This case has so far not gotten nearly as much attention as it deserves. Should the Court overturn the decision, it may well become virtually impossible for employees — especially low-income employees–  to sue for wage and hour violations.

The federal minimum wage and overtime law (the FLSA) allows people to bring what are called “collective action” lawsuits. This is similar to a class action lawsuit, where one person brings suit on behalf of everyone else who is “similarly situated.” Continue reading

You Call it “Labor Law Violations,” We Call it Wage Theft

A great new report was just released about labor and employment law violations in American Cities: Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers. The authors surveyed over 4,000 low-wage workers in major American cities concerning their work the previous week. Not surprisingly, they found that the vast majority of them were being screwed by their employers.

According to the report, over two-thirds of the workers surveyed suffered pay-related violations the previous week. The average pay for these workers was $399 per week. The average wage theft? $51 per week.

Continue reading