NEW YORK, March 14 A former intern filed a
lawsuit against US television talk show host and journalist
Charlie Rose on Wednesday, saying that her internship violated
labor laws because she did not receive training and was unpaid.
Lucy Bickerton, was an editorial intern at nightly talk
show, "Charlie Rose," between June and August in 2007 and
regularly worked 25 hours per week but not was paid any wages,
according to the lawsuit filed in state court in New York.
The proposed class-action suit said the show, which airs on
the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and more than 200
affiliates across the United States, regularly used about 10
unpaid interns as it operates on a small annual budget, the suit
said. Rose serves as host, executive producer and executive
editor on the show.
"Central to the show's lean production are the substantial
number of unpaid interns who work on The Charlie Rose Show each
day, but are paid no wages," the suit said.
"Despite the significant work they perform, Charlie Rose
interns are not compensated for any of their work, in violation
of New York Labor Law," including not offering academic or
vocational training, the suit said.
Bickerton and her lawyers sued both Rose and the show's
production company, seeking unpaid wages and class-action status
for those who worked on the show as unpaid interns from March
14, 2006 onwards.
Spokespeople for Charlie Rose and the production company had
no immediate comment.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a company may legally
offer unpaid internships if they are educational and benefit the
intern and not necessarily the employer, according to
information published on the Department of Labor's website.
The department says that unpaid interns must not displace
regular employees and that "the employer that provides the
training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of
the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be
The suit follows a similar one filed in February in which
former intern at Harper's Bazaar sued the magazine's publisher,
Hearst Corporation, saying that her internship violated labor
laws because it was unpaid. It also sought class action status.
(Reporting By Christine Kearney; editing by Patricia Reaney)