Summer is the time of year when many of us take vacations and head to the beach to relax. It also is the time of year when many employers rekindle longstanding practices of hiring unpaid interns to help out around the workplace. The recent Black Swan ruling by a federal district court in New York, however, has forced employers to seriously reconsider their internship policies.

In that decision, the court ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures, a film distribution company, improperly classified two individuals working on the movie Black Swan as unpaid interns rather than employees who should have been paid. Several suits by unpaid interns who worked at other companies have quickly followed. This spate of litigation has received substantial attention from the human resources and legal communities and may be the catalyst for changes in the way employers classify and/or use unpaid interns.

This webinar will examine the factors that convinced the court in the Black Swan case to rule that the unpaid interns were, in fact, employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and, therefore, entitled to compensation at least at the minimum wage. We also will explore the legal landscape surrounding employer risks and obligations under applicable state and federal wage-and-hour laws when it comes to the classification and/or use of unpaid interns. The session will conclude with a discussion of employer "best practices," including tips for developing an unpaid intern policy that reduces potential employer exposure.

Note that Ballard Spahr will also be presenting a webinar on this issue as it affects higher education institutions, on August 20, 2013. Registration for that program is open as well.


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  ET  |  Webinar


Patricia A. Smith
Louis L. Chodoff

There is no cost to attend. This program is not eligible for continuing education credits.

Please register at least two days before the webinar. Login details will be sent to all approved registrants. For more information, contact Lisa Prickril at 215.864.8252 or

Event Materials

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