9/28/2015 UPDATE: According to court documents obtained by Fashionista, the Olsens' company Dualstar Entertainment Group "denies each and every allegation" in Lalani's case. The documents also state that Dualstar "acted, at all times, in good faith and had reasonable grounds for believing its conduct complied with applicable laws and regulations."
8/13/2015 UPDATE: Dualstar sent a statement to The Huffington Post in response to these allegations:
As an initial matter, Dualstar is an organization that is committed to treating all individuals fairly and in accordance with all applicable laws. The allegations in the complaint filed against Dualstar are groundless, and Dualstar will vigorously defend itself against plaintiff's claims in court, not before the media. Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety.
ORIGINAL STORY: It looks like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's holiday in the sun may have just come to an end.
According to an article in Page Six, the Olsen-owned company Dualstar Entertainment Group is being sued by about 40 past and present interns who are claiming wage theft. The lead plaintiff is former design intern Shahista Lalani, who worked under the head technical designer of The Row in 2012. Lalani says that she was not only treated poorly, but that she was even hospitalized for dehydration at one point during her internship.
Lalani said she would often work 50-hour weeks, for no pay: "You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid," she 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."
While Lalani never worked directly with Mary-Kate or Ashley, she did see them around the office and said that "they’re really nice people."
This story seems all too familiar. Late last year, Conde Nast settled a suit for a reported $5.85 million filed by thousands of former interns who claimed the magazine publisher underpaid them. While the Conde Nast interns got their payday, not all have been so lucky. Interns who filed a suit against the Hearst Corporation in 2013 didn't see a payout at all. Does it sound like Dualstar crossed the line? Sound off in the comments below.
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