A former Harper's Bazaar intern is suing the Hearst Corporation for not paying her a damn thing during a year-long internship.
Xuedan Wang, an Ohio State graduate, 'terned for the magazine from December 2010 to December 2011 anywhere between 40-55 hours a week coordinating sample pickups and returns, maintaining records and processing reimbursements requests from expense reports.
The lawsuit claims:
"Employers’ failure to compensate interns for their work, and the prevalence of the practice nationwide, curtails opportunities for employment, fosters class divisions between those who can afford to work for no wage and those who cannot, and indirectly contributes to rising unemployment."
The court docs also insinuate Hearst's unpaid internship program violates the United States Labor Department's guidelines which states:
"Unpaid internships are only lawful in the context of an educational training program, when the interns do not displace regular employees and the employer derives no immediate advantage from the intern’s work."
Harper's Bazaar definitely should have compensated her because she was pretty much a full time employee, BUT didn't she know going into this she wasn't going to be paid? So why did suffer through a whole year?
Sure, she could probably argue that she thought Harper's Bazaar would hire her, but most companies usually say employment isn't guaranteed once the internship is over.
It's an effed up situation, but it kinda sounds like both parties are at fault and they don't want to take responsibility.
What are YOUR thoughts? Should she be allowed to sue if she knew at the beginning she wouldn't be paid???