Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
August 1, 2012
A former intern’s February lawsuit against Hearst Corporation, alleging that her internship violated the Fair Labor Standards Act because she was not paid for her work, recently was conditionally granted “class-action” status by a federal judge.
The plaintiff, Xuedan “Diana” Wang, 28 and a graduate of Ohio State University where she earned a degree in strategic communications, was an intern in Harper's Bazaar magazine's accessories department from August to December of 2011. The lawsuit says she typically worked at least 40 hours a week, and as many as 55 hours some weeks.
Wang contends that Hearst violated federal and state labor laws by misclassifying her and others in similar positions as “unpaid” or “underpaid” interns instead of employees. The lawsuit alleges that unpaid interns are a “crucial labor force” at Hearst. Wang is seeking minimum-wage pay for her time worked for Hearst and overtime pay in damages.
She and her lawyers are encouraging Hearst’s other unpaid interns join the class-action lawsuit.