Second Circuit Breathes Life Into Unpaid Internships, Applying Primary Beneficiary Test

September 10, 2015

By: Kimberly Klein

With all the litigation surrounding internships programs, it seemed that the concept of an unpaid internship was essentially dead. In a case of first impression, however, New York's federal appeals court heald that an intern does not have to be compensated if the intern is the primary beneficiary of the work performed.

In addition to remanding the case for the lower court to apply the new standard, the Second Circuit also vacated the lower court's holding granting one of the plaintiffs' motion for class and collective certification, finding that an intern's employment status was highly individualized and not suited to class treatment.

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