• Second Circuit Ruling Provides Employers with Greater Leeway to Use Unpaid Internships
  • July 15, 2015 | Authors: Melinda Burdick Bowe; John F. Corcoran; Lindsey H. Hazelton; Whitney M. Kummerow; John T. McCann
  • Law Firm: Hancock Estabrook, LLP - Syracuse Office
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently adopted a “primary beneficiary” test to determine whether interns must be treated as employees under federal and state wage and hour laws, in the case of Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., No. 13-CV-4478 (2d Cir. July 2, 2015). Rejecting the United States Department of Labor’s six-factor test as “too rigid” and reversing and remanding a lower court’s ruling in favor of two former movie interns, the Second Circuit found that the proper question is whether the intern or the employer is the “primary beneficiary of the relationship.” The court provided a list of nonexhaustive factors to help answer that question. It also held that the primary beneficiary test requires highly individualized inquiries-a conclusion that erects a large barrier to further classaction lawsuits by unpaid interns.