LOS ANGELES — A former fashion intern for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen recently settled her class action unpaid overtime lawsuit against the pair’s production company, The Row, over allegations the defendant owes almost 200-former interns minimum wage and overtime wages. Attorneys for the Olsen twins had previously vowed to fight the “meritless” claim in September 2015, but since then other similar lawsuits against high profile production companies have resulted in large plaintiffs awards.
In her suit, the lead plaintiff claims that she and other interns working for The Row performed essentially many of the same duties as full-time company employees but were not compensated for any of their time spent on the job. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that the interns worked as many as 50 hours per week without overtime wages, either.
An estimated 185 plaintiffs will share in the $140,000 settlement, if a judge overseeing the case agrees to the proposed resolution which will end up covering regular hourly wages, unpaid overtime, interest on back wages, and attorneys’ fees. Additionally, the defendant may have to take steps on its own to avoid any further conflicts with New York State and Federal internship laws or risk additional suits.
Lawsuit Claims Interns Were Improperly Classified as Unpaid
The plaintiffs’ lawsuit claimed the defendant’s business practices violated both state and federal labor laws on unpaid internships. Currently, the Department of Labor has a six-factor test for unpaid internships and New York state has an additional five-factors for determining whether or not internships follow the intent of the law.
Under federal unpaid internship laws, the arrangement must:
- Be similar to training which would be given in an educational environment
- Benefit of the intern
- Intern work under close staff supervision and does not displace regular employees
- Not provide immediate advantage to the employer and may in fact be impeded by the intern
- Not necessarily guarantee the intern to a job after the internship
- Inform the intern he or she is not entitled to wages
Unpaid Internship Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.