Two Former Saturday Night Live, MSNBC Interns Suing NBC Universal

New York Daily News Barbara Ross and Daniel Beekman
July 3, 2013

Live from New York, it’s another internship lawsuit.

Two former Saturday Night Live and MSNBC interns are suing NBC Universal, claiming they worked just like regular employees but received no pay.

NBC Universal is the latest media company to face an internship lawsuit, with Gawker, Conde Nast and others also under fire.

Unpaid and underpaid interns are becoming the modern-day equivalent of entry-level employees, except that employers are not paying them or underpaying them, ” according to the Manhattan Federal Court class action lawsuit filed Wednesday by former SNL and MSBNC interns Monet Eliastam and Jesse Moore.

Eliastam worked up to 27 hours a week for SNL last year and regularly worked more than 10 hours a day, the lawsuit says.

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Moore worked as many as 29 hours a week in 2011, and her duties included booking travel arrangements for correspondents and guests on MSNBC’s morning programs, answering phones and greeting and escorting guests to get their hair and makeup done.

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The lawsuit says hundreds of unpaid or underpaid interns are a key part of NBC Universal’s success ” and estimates more than 100 ex-interns could sign on if the case becomes a class action.

The suit cites a decision last month against Fox Searchlight Pictures that has unleashed the current wave of legal action.

Judge William Pauley III ruled that two interns on the film set of Black Swan ” were entitled to payment for their work under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York labor law.

Last week, PBS talk show host Charlie Rose and his production company reportedly settled a lawsuit brought by former interns by paying them roughly $110,000.