People line up to attend the "Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan theater which resumes production in New York on January 2, 2008. David Letterman and his production company made an agreement with the writers' guild. who have been on strike for almost two months. (UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- David Letterman is the latest target of the latest lawsuit from unpaid interns.
Mallory Musallam filed a class action lawsuit last week against CBS Broadcasting, CBS Corp., and the late night host's Worldwide Pants, for compensation for the time she worked as an intern on the show, as well as compensation for everyone else who ever interned there without pay.
Musallam's suit claims she worked full 40-hour weeks without ever receiving any "academic or vocational training" while at the Late Show.
"Named Plaintiff performed various tasks, including, but not limited to, research for interview material, deliver film clips from libraries, running errands, faxing, scanning, operating the switchboard, and other similar duties," the suit says.
In fact, it claims, interns would do work for which the show would have otherwise had to hire minimum wage employees.
"Upon information and belief, Defendants would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the Named Plaintiff and the putative class members not performed work for Defendants," it says.
CBS has released a statement defending its intern programs and promising to fight the lawsuit in court.
"This lawsuit is part of a nationwide trend of class action lawyers attacking internship opportunities provided by companies in the media and entertainment industry," the network said. "We pride ourselves on providing valuable internship experiences, and we take seriously all of our obligations under relevant labor and employment laws. We intend to vigorously defend against the claims."
The suit comes as ICM Partners is fighting off a similar class action suit of its own, and filed a motion to dismiss the action last week. But last year, a federal judge found interns working on Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan were actually employees under the definition of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.
Mallory Musallam vs. CBS