This year, fashion companies like Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Oscar De La Renta, and Coach have been hit with class action lawsuits alleging that an unpaid internship violated state and federal wage and hour laws. Publishing and entertainment companies have also seen an increase in these suits.
This is just a reminder that if you use unpaid interns during winter break, make sure that your internship meets applicable legal criteria so that you do not run afoul of the labor laws. Otherwise, liability can be significant. In fact, on November 13, Conde Nast announced a $5.8 million settlement of its own intern class action lawsuit.