Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen's Dualstar Company Is Being Sued For Allegedly Overworking Interns Without Pay
A couple of famous twins have a big issue on their hands. According to Page Six, a class-action law suit has been filed against Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Dualstar company for allegedly not paying about 40 interns who worked for their labels, The Row and Elizabeth James. Both fashion labels are part of the 29-year-old twins' Dualstar Entertainment Group. Dualstar spokesperson Annett Wolf released the following comment to Bustle:
As an initial matter, Dualstar is an organization that is committed to treating all individuals fairly and in accordance with all applicable laws. The allegations in the complaint filed against Dualstar are groundless, and Dualstar will vigorously defend itself against plaintiff's claims in court, not before the media. Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety.
Page Six reports that Shahista Lalani, who was an intern for The Row in 2012, is the lead plaintiff. Lalani made the following claim to Page Six about the head technical designer for The Row: "She was very demanding. I was doing the work of three interns. I was talking to her all day, all night. E-mails at nighttime for the next day, like 10 p.m. at night." Lalani also claims that she was hospitalized for dehydration while working for the company. "It was like 100 degrees outside," she said. "I’d just be sweating to death. I probably carried like 50 pounds worth of trench coats [to Row factories]."
Lalani alleges she never worked directly with the Olsen twins, but she did see them every now and again at meetings. She told Page Six, "They’re really nice people. They were never mean to anyone. They’re business people." However, that isn't stopping her from filing a lawsuit. As The New York Daily News reports, Lalani claims she worked 50 hours a week between May 2012 and September 2012. Per court documents, her duties included inputting data into spreadsheets, making tech sheets, running personal errands for paid employees, organizing materials, cleaning, photocopying, and sewing.
The New York Daily News also reports the court documents say the group of interns were "misclassified as exempt from minimum wage requirements." Further, Page Six reports that the interns claim they should have received "minimum wage plus overtime because they were doing the same type of jobs as the paid colleagues without receiving academic or vocational credit."