FASHION LAW RE-CAP: FORMER INTERN, DIANA WANG, FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST THE HEARST CORPORATION
In the lawsuit between Diana Wang VS. The Hearst Corporation (one of the first major unpaid intern lawsuits in the fashion industry), Wang receives the upperhand from the Second Circuit Court of appeals recently. The Second Circuit has accepted Diana Wang along with seven other plaintiff’s joint appeal on Thursday. The decision is based on the Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71 which provides six factors that should be applied when making a determination whether an internship program excludes interns form the ambit of federal wage and hour protections. The former unpaid interns at Hearst’s various magazines claim they qualified as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Naw (NYLL), which entitled her to minimum, overtime, and spread-of-hours wages.
The court will rule under the standard for determining whether unpaid interns quality as interns or whether are actually employees. Wang’s lawsuit is for her unpaid internship with Harper’s Bazaar; however, Judge Harold Baer declines the plaintiff’s case applying the landmark Dukes v. Walmart Ruling, and holding that Wang’s class does not meet the standards of commonality and predominance needed to be considered as a class.
With the surge of unpaid internships underway, major corporations working with years of internship programs are becoming fearful. Stay tuned for our update on Conde Nast’s removal of the internship program since late 2013.