Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will pay $140,000 to 185 interns who worked for their fashion brand to settle a wage theft lawsuit filed in 2015, according to court documents filed in Manhattan Federal Court.
Each intern will receive a $530 payment from the former child star twins and the rest of the money will cover lawyers’ fees, if approved by a judge.
The 31-year-old sisters are worth more than $300 million.
The former interns, who filed the suit against the Olsens’ Dualstar Entertainment company, claimed that they should have been paid minimum wage plus overtime, because they were doing the kind of work their paid colleagues had done but without compensation.
One of the unpaid interns said she clocked 50 hours a week between May 2012 and September 2012 at the company. Her responsibilities included inputting data into spreadsheets, making tech sheets, running personal errands for paid employees, organizing materials, cleaning, photocopying and sewing, according to court documents.
The Olsens founded Dualstar when they were just 6. The company makes everything from videos, books and dolls to cosmetics and clothes. They started their fashion brand The Row in 2006.
All employees have a right to be paid at least minimum wage for the work they perform. In Florida, the current minimum wage is $8.10. Unpaid internships get a little tricky in the eyes of the law. The United States Department of Labor has set the following criteria for unpaid internships:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
If every single one of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern.
If you are currently an unpaid intern, or have completed an unpaid internship, and you think you are/were an actual employee, our Florida Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We will investigate the facts of your case and if we feel you have a valid claim, we will push to get you the fair financial compensation you deserve.
Your consultation with us is completely free, and if we decide to pursue your case, you will owe us nothing until we recover damages on your behalf. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.