MTV parent Viacom pays off thousands of interns in $7.21m lawsuit

An estimated 12,500 former interns sued the Nickelodeon and MTV owner alleging violation of labour laws

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The Independent Online

Viacom, the media company owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, has agreed to pay $7.21 million to an estimated 12,500 former interns who said that the company did not pay them for work that they claimed was similar to paid employees.

Taxman targets music business over unpaid interns

The interns worked for Viacom’s channels in New York between August 2007 and June 2013 and in California between September 2010 and June 2013. Interns can now claim $505 before taxes for each semester of work, to a maximum of two semesters. Viacom has denied wrongdoing. The company did not respond to requests for comment by press time.


The settlement compares to similar cases against Comcast Corp’s NBC Universal, which owns CNBC and NBC Sports. It settled a $6.4 million lawsuit last year. Condé Nast, which publishes Vogue, settled with former interns for $5.85 million in December.#

A landmark decision in June 2013 spurred these latest cases. A judge ruled at the time that two interns should have been paid by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc for their work on the movie ‘Black Swan’ should have been paid by its maker.

Additional reporting by Reuters.