NBC and Interns Settle for $6.4 Million

One of Many Cases Over Pay for Interns in Media

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Bill Hader as Stefon on 'Saturday Night Live,' where one of the interns worked.
Bill Hader as Stefon on 'Saturday Night Live,' where one of the interns worked. Credit: NBC

NBC Universal may have decided it wasn't worth the fight.

Outten & Golden, the law firm that has made a name for itself seeking pay for unpaid interns, said in a court filing on Wednesday that its clients have settled their suit against NBC Universal for $6.4 million.

The named plaintiffs in the proposed class action had interned at "Saturday Night Live," Universal Studios Hollywood and the Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos shows. One of the original plaintiffs, a former intern at MSNBC, dropped out of the case.

For its work, Outten & Golden is seeking about 19% of the settlement, or $1,184,000, in attorney fees, plus costs and expenses, according to the brief delineating the settlement.

The putative class action was initially filed last year.

Many companies in the entertainment and publishing industries have been sued by former interns claiming they are owed back pay for their work.

Fox Searchlight Pictures, Conde Nast and Hearst Corp., as well as the literary and talent agency ICM, are among those in litigation. Talk-show host Charlie Rose settled a similar case in 2012, while a suit against David Letterman and CBS was withdrawn.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is appealing a ruling by U.S. District Judge William Pauley that some unpaid interns should have been classified as employees and paid.

NBC Universal, now owned by Comcast Corp., declined to comment in an e-mail from a spokeswoman, Cameron Blanchard.

Justin Swartz, a partner at Outten & Golden working on the case, didn't respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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