FLSA Fashion Faux-Pas
Danny Tanner may have some words of advice right now, but we think that the more apt advice can be found in previous blog posts warning employers of the dangers of using unpaid interns. The latest suit, brought in Manhattan Supreme Court, is brought by Shahista Lalani, a former design intern at the Row, one of the fashion labels of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
The class-action lawsuit currently includes a "full-house" of approximately 40 current and former interns and alleges failure to pay wages amounting to wage theft. More on Ms. Lalani's claims are available here. For readers, however, who are considering using unpaid interns, recognize that while the federal DOL had previously issued fairly extensive guidelines to follow in determining whether an intern can be unpaid, the Second Circuit recently rejected that standard and instead looked to "whether the intern or the employer is the primary beneficiary of the relationship." Accordingly, prior to instituting an unpaid intern policy, give a member of Verrill Dana's Labor & Employment Practice Group a call.