The most recent in a string of such lawsuits, a former Marc Jacobs intern has initiated a class action lawsuit against the fashion designer for failing to pay interns proper minimum wage and overtime wage rates. Plaintiff Linney Warren sued Marc Jacobs alleging that she often worked 70-hour weeks in May, fetching coffee, moving raw materials between studios, sorting fabrics, fixing patterns, and sewing. Other companies recently hit with similar lawsuits include Fox Entertainment, Lions Gate Entertainment, Coach, and more.
Altogether failing to pay interns who are not receiving legitimate academic or vocational training is an unfair wage practice. Similarly, failing to give paid interns appropriate minimum wage rates and overtime wage rates violates the Fair Labor Standards Act and comparable state legislation. In addition to exposing employers to liability, these practices take advantage of young people who don’t fully understand wage and hour law and who are working hard in the infancy of their careers.
Joshua Newville is an attorney and mediator based in Minnesota. He litigates employment and civil rights cases, serves as a mediator for civil disputes, and provides employment law advice.