About 40 former and current interns at Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion label The Row have had it up to fucking here with shitty hours, menial tasks, and shitty to non-existent pay, and are now lodging a class-action suit alleging wage theft.
They reckon that as they were doing the same work as paid employees, they’ve been incorrectly classified as exempt from minimum-wage requirements, and now should get what they’re owed, dammit.
Based on lead plaintiff Shahista Lalani‘s interview with Page 6, it sounds like the problem rests with the company itself, and not with MK+A, who Lalani describes as “really nice people”.
She spent five months interning under the head technical designer, claiming she worked 50 hour weeks, ran errands, and doing menial shitty tasks if there was nothing else to do – i.e. organising buttons by colour code.
“[I was] inputting data into spreadsheets, making tech sheets, running personal errands for paid employees, organising materials, photocopying, sewing, pattern cutting, among other related duties.”
“You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid. They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I’d see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff.”
“[The head technical designer] was very demanding. I was doing the work of three interns. I was talking to her all day, all night. Emails at nighttime for the next day, like 10pm at night.”
According to Jezebel, MK+A are believed to be worth $300 million.