Last week, both Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs International were sued by former interns, claiming owed compensation. Another brand has been hit with the same lawsuit. Calvin Klein and parent company, PVH Corp., have been sued by former intern, Rajwinder Kaur, who claims that Calvin Klein misclassifies their interns in an effort to avoid paying them and thus keeping labor costs low.
Kaur interned for the American brand in 2009 and explains her complaint that her responsibilities included data entry, fashion show production, research and maintenance of samples. She goes on to state that she worked about 30 hours a week and did not receive compensation for her time at the brand. She also claims that she did not receive any education or training while at Calvin Klein. She is asking that the court certify a class action suit so other former interns may join the lawsuit.
Do the facts of this lawsuit sound familiar? Because they are the exact facts of the complaints filed against Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs last week. Literally. All three lawsuits claim that the respective intern conducted tasks that would be classified as employee-level rather than intern-level. All three lawsuits claim that the brand in question misclassifies interns to avoid paying them. All three lawsuits claim that each brand is violating New York state law rather than the more common federal Fair Labor Standards Act. All three lawsuits ask the court for a class action certification. And, the reason for these common facts among all three lawsuits is because all three plaintiffs are being represented by Virginia & Ambinder LLP and Leeds Brown Law PC.