Unpaid Interns Back in the Spotlight: Second Circuit Hands Employers a Win

December 18, 2017

On December 8, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in favor of Hearst Corporation (“Hearst”) in the Wang v. Hearst Corp intern classification case. The Court addressed the proper application of the seven-factor “primary beneficiary” standard for assessing whether an intern qualifies as an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

In a concise opinion, the Court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Hearst. It found that, even though some of the seven “primary beneficiary” factors supported the interns, as long as the interns (and not the alleged employer) are the primary beneficiaries of the relationship when considering the factors overall, the interns are properly classified as interns and not employees. 

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