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Hearst Corp. Class Action News

Law360—Ben James A district court judge used the wrong test for determining who qualifies as an “employee” under wage-and-hour law when he denied class certification to Hearst Corp.'s former unpaid interns, the U.S. Department of Labor told the Second Circuit on Friday. The DOL lodged an amicus brief at the appeals court in support of the plaintiffs, who are challenging U.S. District Judge Harold Baer's May decision denying class certification on their New York Labor Law claims and rejecting their bid for summary judgment on their status as “employees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act and NYLL. A six-part DOL…
Law360—Abigail Rubenstein A New York federal judge gave the green light to former unpaid interns bringing a wage-and-hour suit against Hearst Corp. to appeal his ruling denying them class certification, saying the Second Circuit could also provide clarity for other pending intern suits. U.S. District Judge Harold Baer granted a bid by former interns Xuedan Wang and Erin Spencer to certify for interlocutory appeal his May 7 ruling refusing to certify a class on their New York Labor Law and denying them partial summary judgment on the question of whether they qualified as “employees” under federal and state wage law.…
thomsonreuters.com—Carlyn Kolker The law governing unpaid interns has become so murky that even a victorious party in a current case is hoping an appeals court will weigh in to clarify it. In the past two months, two judges in the Southern District of New York have issued opposing rulings on the topic of unpaid interns. On June 11, U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled in a summary judgment motion that interns suing film company Fox Searchlight were employees. A month earlier, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer declined to make a similar determination, ruling that the issue of whether interns suing…
March 10, 2013 By Scott Flaherty, Law360 A group of former Hearst Corp. interns urged a New York federal court Monday to grant class certification in a suit alleging that the magazine publisher violated labor laws by using interns as cheap fill-ins for gaps in its workforce. The interns, who allege Hearst's internship policies run afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law, filed a motion for class certification under the NYLL. A federal judge previously granted conditional certification to the Hearst interns under the FLSA, according to a memorandum filed in support of Monday's NYLL…
February 27, 2013 By Bill Donahue, Law360 A former unpaid intern who claims Hearst Corp.'s intern policies violated federal labor law accused the magazine publisher on Tuesday of dragging its feet in turning over contact information for possible class members and actively impeding the notice process. Xuedan Wang won conditional certification last year on her claim that Hearst ran afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay magazine interns for entry-level work, entitling her to begin notifying other interns — potential opt-in plaintiffs — of her lawsuit, filed in New York federal court. But on Tuesday, Wang's…
May 5, 2012 By Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times Confronting the worst job market in decades, many college graduates who expected to land paid jobs are turning to unpaid internships to try to get a foot in an employer’s door. While unpaid postcollege internships have long existed in the film and nonprofit worlds, they have recently spread to fashion houses, book and magazine publishers, marketing companies, public relations firms, art galleries, talent agencies — even to some law firms. Melissa Reyes, who graduated from Marist College with a degree in fashion merchandising last May, applied for a dozen jobs…
By Ginia BellafanteIn February, Xuedan Wang, a 2010 graduate of Ohio University, received modest attention after she filed a lawsuit against the Hearst Corporation claiming that the company violated labor laws when it did not pay her for the work she had done as an intern at Harper’s Bazaar, one of its magazines, over four months last year.  Speaking to New York magazine last week, on the occasion of Fashion Week, Ms. Wang, who goes by Diana, explained that she had spent more than half of her life dreaming of Bazaar and approximately 12 months working at a pharmaceutical company…

The Norma Rae of Fashion Interns

Tuesday, 11 September 2012
By Kayleen Schaefer Last fall, Diana Wang was named “head accessories intern” at Harper’s Bazaar.“I’d been dreaming of standing in their offices for fifteen years,” she says. “I was so ready to give everything I had. I couldn’t imagine that the dream of mine was becoming real.” At 27, she was older than the average magazine intern. After graduating from Ohio State in 2010, Diana spent a year working for a pharmaceutical company in Columbus, Ohio, saving up so she could afford to live in New York as an unpaid intern — a gig she’d heard was a necessary first…
By Chad BrayA federal judge has conditionally granted class-action status on behalf of a group of Hearst Corp. interns who allegedly weren't paid for their work at 19 of the company's magazines, including Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping.Xuedan Wang, a former intern at Harper's Bazaar from last August to December, sued Hearst earlier this year, alleging the company violated federal and state labor laws by misclassifying her and other workers as unpaid or underpaid interns, rather than employees. As a result, they were denied pay and other benefits, the lawsuit said.In her lawsuit, Ms. Wang claims she regularly worked…
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