EXCLUSIVE: The Casting Society of America has decided it will no longer allow postings for internships through its webpage and sent a note out to its membership announcing its change of policy. The move comes after a Deadline story that brought to light an unpaid internship posting by a casting office that seemed go against federal labor laws, asking an intern to do heavy phone work, appointment scheduling, running errands, typing, and reading and breaking down script. The CSA policy change will apply to both paid and unpaid internship postings.
Richard Hicks, the president of the CSA, confirmed to Deadline that he had sent the change of CSA job postings policy out to his membership Friday via email. The 32 year-old organization has over 550 members. “We began looking at the issue last year,” he told me today. “The recent Deadline article made it clear that our membership needed more education. To that end, we’re eliminating job postings for internships.” Yet another unpaid internship demanding numerous duties came in last week and was flagged by the CSA.
Federal and state labor laws specifically state that “If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled to compensation under the FLSA.” FLSA is the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is not the first CSA job posting that came to light for unpaid internships that require a heavy workload. Here is Hicks’ letter:
In keeping with CSA’s continued commitment to upholding the highest of standards, postings for internships on the CSA ‘post a job’ webpage will no longer be allowed.
While internships have launched many successful careers and are a way for individuals looking to gain experience and find a role in the industry, the Casting Society of America has hundreds of members in the U.S. and around the world, and regulations regarding these internships vary greatly by state and country.
It is each Casting Director’s responsibility to make sure they are in compliance with the appropriate regulations where they work.
Posting of jobs for Casting Associates and Casting Assistants will continue as a benefit of CSA membership and we encourage you to use it for that purpose.