Gawker sued by former interns for back wages
Gawker Media, the company behind a series of wildly popular blogs including Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo and Jalopnik, is the latest company to be sued by former interns who claim they were not fairly compensated for their work.
In a court filing obtained by ProPublica, three men who worked as interns in 2008 and 2010 are bringing a class action lawsuit against Gawker and its publisher, Nick Denton. It claims that they and several other former interns were not paid a fair wage for fulfilling what amounted to full and part-time work with the New York-based outlet.
The suit, which was filed June 21 by Aulistar Mark, Hanchen Lu and Andrew Hudson in United States District Court, alleges that Gawker classifies employees like them as interns to avoid paying wages as mandated by law.
They each say that during their time at the company, they each worked either on site in New York or remotely for at least 15 hours per week and were not paid.
All three defendants say in the filing, according to ProPublica, that Gawker was using them to create large amounts of content that drove "significant amounts of revenue" for the company.
Earlier this month, a federal judge in New York ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal wage regulations by not paying a group of interns for their work on the movie Black Swan.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, nearly 1 million unpaid internships are offered in the United States every year.
You can read the full court filing at propublica.com.