In recent courtroom developments reported by Law 360 (subscription required), interns for Sirius XM Radio were granted class certification by a New York federal judge in a wage and hour violation action. Melissa Tierney, once an intern on the Howard Stern show, and three others sued the satellite radio company last spring alleging that they performed work necessary to Sirius XM’s operations without receiving pay or academic or vocational training. As discussed in a prior post on this blog, the class certification could affect potentially 1,000 Sirius’ interns.
The radio broadcaster argued that there was not enough evidence to show that interns –who had different roles in 168 separate departments across five cities – were similarly situated to justify the formation of a class. In ruling for the plaintiffs, Judge Valerie E. Caproni of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that the company’s human resources policies could demonstrate an effort by Sirius to increase profits by having unpaid interns do the work of paid employees. Judge Caproni set a two-week limit for the parties to agree on the exact nature of the action, and noted that the class certification might be dismissed in the future if the evidence is later found to be insufficient.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Group have been involved a variety of wage and overtime violations class action lawsuits. If you have questions regarding your right to receive fair and honest compensation, call us today – we’re here to help.