Does Charlie Rose Exploit Interns?

Charlie Rose LawsuitThat’s the central allegation in a class action suit filed today at the New York State Supreme Court. Former intern Lucy Bickerton — who worked at PBSThe Charlie Rose Show in summer 2007 — says the program “operates on an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million, which is low for a television program airing five nights per week.” Interns allegedly pick up the slack. They “perform background research from print and online sources to prepare Mr. Rose for guest interviews, escort guests through the studio and set, and break down the set and clean up the ‘green room’ ” after tapings. The problem: Under New York law, the suit says, “an unpaid internship is only lawful in the context of an educational training program, when the interns do not perform productive work and the employer derives no benefit.” But the suit says that Rose “did not provide academic or vocational training” to interns including Bickerton, who’s said to have regularly worked two to three days a week for a total of about 25 hours a week. As a result, Rose “denied them the benefits (more…)

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