• Interns suing employers around the country following Black Swan ruling

    Interns around the country are taking employers to court who do not pay them at least minimum wage, a little over a month after a federal ruling broke new ground on the legal requirements businesses have for training their interns. 

    According to an online ProPublica database, a website that supports investigative journalism, there are currently 14 lawsuits around the country concerning the responsibilities employers have for internships. Three of those lawsuits have been filed since last month, when a federal judge in New York found that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated the law when it did not pay two interns who worked on the production of the Oscar-winning film “Black Swan.” 

    The judge said employers must follow Department of Labor guidelines and either pay interns for their work or directly supervise their education. In addition, the judge said employers should receive “no immediate advantage” from intern labor. The case still only applies to New York and could be overturned on appeal. 

    Businesses being sued range from intern-heavy employers, including the media website Gawker, to public relations and fashions firms, and even two universities. The two higher education suits concern a university athletic division at Hamilton College, New York, and a separate anesthesia internship at Wolford College, Florida. 

    The rulings could significantly reshape the field of work for internships, which are quickly becoming a necessary stepping-stone for entry into the post-graduate workforce. According to a New York Times article published last week, less than half of current college graduates currently work in jobs that require a degree.

  • The Morning Texan: Dry week ahead for Austin

    Following a week of rain, this next week is expected to be dry for Central Texas. According to the National Weather Service, Monday has a 10 percent chance of rain. But after Monday, the chance of rain goes away.

    Here is some morning reading:

    This weekend's most read article online: A UT professor is running in the primary for state representative in March, saying he seeks to end “political meddling” from the state in University affairs when in office. 

    What you have to read: The X Games' arrival into Austin has the power to change the culture of extreme, alternative sports here in Central Texas. It also has the power to change the perception of Austin. 

    In case you missed it: As the Dell Medical School continues to search for its inaugural dean, UT has selected an architect to design the first phase of buildings for the school.

  • Texas Republicans file bill banning abortion after heartbeat detected

    A bill has been filed in the Texas legislature that would ban abortion after a heartbeat has been detected in a fetus — which is roughly six weeks.

    The bill was filed by Representatives Phil King, R-Weatherford; Dan Flynn, R-Canton; and Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria. The bill says that fetal heartbeat "has become a key medical predictor that an unborn child will reach live birth" and that "the state has legitimate interests from the outset
    of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of an unborn child who may be born."

    The bill is not the first of its kind. Earlier this year, North Dakota filed and passed similar legislation. The bill is currently being considered in court and is challeneged for being unconstitutional. 

    Texas's second special session ends July 31, so if lawmakers wanted to pass the bill, they would have to start working on it soon. A committee hearing has not been scheduled yet.

    When Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the previous abortion legislation into law earlier this week, he told lawmakers to go home once they had a transportation funding bill on his desk.

    Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @bobbycblanchard.

  • The Morning Texan: Abbott in Austin, Czech in Texas

    Throughout much of the weekend, the chance of rain will stay at 20 percent. According to the National Weather Service, this weekend's high is 95 degrees and the low is 72 degrees.

    Here is some morning reading:

    Yesterday's most read story online: Linguists have long observed that immigrant languages tend to die out after just a few generations as the younger generations assimilate to the dominant culture. Texas is no different.

    What you have to read: Last night, former Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy introduced Attorney General Greg Abbott as "the next Texas Govenor." Check out what Abbott had to say to a crowd of supporters. 

    In case you missed it: While Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed abortion legislation into law Thursday morning, the new rules are already anticipated to end up in court before they even go into effect.

  • Rick Perry signs abortion legislation into law

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed abortion legislation into law Thursday morning.

    Perry and other Republicans spoke in support of the bill before the governor signed it. 

    “This is an important day for those who support the life and the health of women in Texas,” Perry said.

    The bill will ban abortions after 20 weeks, increase standards at abortion clinics statewide and place additional requirements on abortion-inducing drugs. Supporters of the bill claim it makes abortions safer, however opponents of the bill say it will make an abortion more difficult to obtain in Texas and will close all but five clinics in the state.

    “This was a victory for women’s health and the unborn,” Lt. Governor David Dewhurst said. 

    A crowd of protestors gathered outside and chanted ‘shame’ during the bill signing. Dewhurst briefly addressed the crowd.

    “For those who are outside chanting, and for those who don’t agree with us: We love you. We love you just as much as we love those unborn babies,” Dewhurst said. 

    Right before signing the bill, Perry told the lawmakers to go home, as soon “as you get the transportation bill on my desk.”

    Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @thedailytexan.