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A former MTV intern’s proposed class action lawsuit against the network and parent company Viacom will move forward, with the company’s interns from the previous three years eligible to join.
United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman ruled Friday that Casey O’Jeda has demonstrated that he and the company’s other unpaid interns may have been victims of policies that violated labor laws.
In a January filing, O’Jeda had sought back pay for himself and other Viacom and MTV interns who had worked from August 2007 to the present. But Furman’s ruling said only interns who had worked in the program in the previous three years would be eligible to join the lawsuit.
O’Jeda says he held a position as an unpaid intern at MTV from September 2011 to January 2012, working on the network’s mobile website. He claims MTV practices violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York labor laws.
Multiple lawsuits from former interns have rocked Hollywood in recent years. Among the most notable suits, a judge ruled last June in favor of two interns who had worked on Black Swan, with the court determining Fox’s internship did not meet the Labor Department’s criteria for whether an internship could be unpaid, such as if the internship provides vocational training.
Viacom did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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