Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen pay out $140,000 to interns

November 30, -0001
  • Former ‘Full House’ actresses will hand over the cash to a group of 185 interns
  • The interns produced clothes for Mary-Kate and Ashley’s fashion line The Row 
  • The payout will work out at just $530 per intern, with the rest going to lawyers

By

Hannah Al-Othman For MailOline


Published:
04:58 EST, 9 March 2017

|
Updated:
05:02 EST, 9 March 2017

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have agreed to pay out tens of thousands of dollars after interns worked up to 50 hours per week making clothes for their high-end fashion line.

The former ‘Full House’ actresses will hand over $140,000 to a group of 185 interns who produced clothes for their fashion line The Row, according to a new filing in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The former child stars, who run a business empire worth an estimated $300 million, agreed to fork out the cash to ‘avoid the uncertainties of litigation,’ according to a recent Manhattan Supreme Court filing by their attorney.

The payout, which still needs to be agreed by a judge, will work out at just $530 per intern, with the rest going to their lawyers.

Mary-Kate, left, and Ashley Olsen have agreed to pay out tens of thousands of dollars to interns who produced clothes for their fashion line
Mary-Kate, left, and Ashley Olsen have agreed to pay out tens of thousands of dollars to interns who produced clothes for their fashion line

Mary-Kate, left, and Ashley Olsen have agreed to pay out tens of thousands of dollars to interns who produced clothes for their fashion line

Clothes from the fashion line retail at up to $5,990 for a double-breasted wool-twill coat, while even the cheapest tank top costs $260, and a plain white t-shirt retails at $320. 

The class action suit was brought by former design intern Shahista Lalani in 2015. She claimed she was so overworked that she was once hospitalized for dehydration.

The suit said interns, who were working up to 50-hour weeks, should have been paid the minimum wage plus overtime.

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‘It was like 100 degrees outside. I’d just be sweating to death. I probably carried like 50 pounds worth of trench coats’, she told PageSix at the time. 

The suit said interns were doing the same type of work as paid colleagues, without receiving academic or vocational credit, putting in 50-hour weeks inputting data, running errands, sewing, photocopying and carrying out other menial tasks.

A plain white t-shirt from Mary-Kate and Ashley's fashion line The Row retails at $320
A plain white t-shirt from Mary-Kate and Ashley's fashion line The Row retails at $320

A plain white t-shirt from Mary-Kate and Ashley’s fashion line The Row retails at $320

‘You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid,’ Lalani said. ‘They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I’d see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff.’  

She also claimed she rarely got a break and would receive emails from her bus, the head technical designer for the twin’s fashion house, up to 10 o’clock at night.

According to court papers,  the settlement was agreed after ‘protracted, arm’s-length negotiations between the parties and their experienced counsel.’ 

In the court papers, the plaintiffs’ attorney LaDonna Lusher says: ‘The parties have reached a proposed settlement which plaintiffs believe represents a significant recovery given the potential damages and substantial risks if the case proceeds to trial.’

 

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