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Former Warner intern sues for unpaid wages

By | Published on Wednesday 19 June 2013

Warner Music

A former intern of Warner Music’s Atlantic subsidiary in the US is suing for unpaid wages. What’s more, he’s made it a class action meaning if he wins all other unpaid interns working there in the same time period would be due money too.

According to The Wrap, Justin Henry says he worked at the label for no wage between October 2007 and May 2008 in violation of New York employment laws. He also suggests that the practice of not paying interns had not always been company policy at Atlantic, and only began in June 2007. The lawsuit claims minimum wage for all hours worked, plus overtime, interest, unspecified damages and costs.

He states that in his role tasks included answering telephones, photocopying and collecting lunch for permanent staff, which Henry and his lawyers argue constitutes a job under New York employment law and doesn’t fit the regulations for classifying staff as unpaid interns. The lawsuit estimates that over 100 others could be due back pay under the class action and is calling for more former interns to come forward.

Unpaid internships have been an issue in the UK in recent years of course, especially in the creative and communication industries where such intern roles are commonplace. If a company appoints an unpaid intern to do what is arguably a job, they are likely breaking Britain’s minimum wage laws.



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