03/06/2012 // San Francisco, CA, USA // Keller Grover LLP // California employment lawyer Eric Grover
San Francisco, CA (CA Employment Lawyer News) — A former intern of American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, has filed a class action lawsuit against its publisher—Hearst Corporation—claiming that her internship was in violation of labor laws, reports California employment lawyers, Keller Grover LLP.
Reuters reported that Xuedan Wang, 28, was employed as an intern from August to December last year in the magazine’s accessories department, where she typically worked at least 40 hours a week and as much as 55 hours without pay.
Wang, who also uses the first name Diana, asserts that the hundreds of unpaid interns at Hearst are a “crucial labor force.” Her filing is a request to make the case a class action on behalf of those interns, many who work at Hearst’s other publications as well as Harper’s Bazaar.
“Unpaid interns are becoming the modern-day equivalent of entry-level employees, except that employers are not paying them for the many hours they work,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit is seeking minimum-wage pay and overtime pay as damages.
“Companies are legally allowed to hire unpaid interns to work at their business, as long as they are being trained and are not replacing an employee who otherwise would have been doing the work,” explains Eric Grover, a San Francisco employment lawyer at Keller Grover LLP. “But, many companies are taking advantage of this ‘free labor’ and cheating unsuspecting interns.”
Internships, which are often required by many universities to complete their study programs, have increasingly become the focal point of many employment lawsuits.
Last year, an unpaid intern employed at Fox Searchlight sued the production company for requiring interns to complete “menial work” that should have been done by paid employees. Furthermore, the interns asserted that they were not given adequate educational experience while on the job, which is required by many state labor laws in order to exempt employers from paying interns, as we previously reported in “Los Angeles Employment Lawyer: Interns of Fox Searchlight’s ‘Black Swan’ Sue.”
The U.S. Labor Department reports that employers who hire interns must not receive any immediate advantage from the activities of the intern.
This news was brought to you by the San Francisco employment lawyers at Keller Grover LLP.
Keller Grover is an experienced employment law firm that has played leading roles in a wide variety of employment related claims, including wage and hour, breach of contract cases, discrimination and harassment cases based on race, sex, age, disability and other legally protected categories. Keller Grover LLP is dedicated to helping workers whose wage and hour rights have been violated. For more information about the San Francisco employment lawyers at Keller Grover and employment law cases, please visit www.kellergover.com.
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