It's been a good month for those fighting the scourge of unpaid quote-unquote "internships," which are too often simply part-time or full-time jobs in disguise. First, NBCUniversal agreed to settle with a group of former unpaid interns for Saturday Night Live, who sued as a class for labor law and wage violations. Now this week comes news that Conde Naste, publishing empire, has also decided to settle, to the tune of 5.8 million, the class action suit brought against it by its own former interns. The Conde Nast settlement is perhaps a bit more expected: the company appears to have known it had entered into some dangerous waters in its internship practices, and decided to end the program entirely this past summer.
Recently, the New York City Council held its first public hearing on the emerging issue of wage theft and exploitive working conditions on the sets of NYC-based reality television shows. The hearing was prompted by a recent report released by the Writer's Guild of America's New York subsidiary, WGA East, entitled "The Real Reality: Working Conditions in the Nonfiction and Reality Television Industry in NYC."