September 21, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - Unpaid internships have long been a path of opportunity for students and recent graduates looking to get a foot in the door in the entertainment, publishing and other prominent industries.
But those days of working for free could be numbered. A federal judge ruled this week that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on production of the movie "Black Swan." He said they performed the same work as paid employees.
The case may lead some companies to rethink whether it's worth the legal risk to hire interns to work without pay. Critics claim unpaid internships exploit young workers and drive down wages. Employers say they invest money in the programs and offer mentoring similar to vocational programs.
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