At one point, Lalani claims, she was hospitalized for dehydration.
“It was like 100 degrees outside,” she said. “I’d just be sweating to death. I probably carried like 50 pounds worth of trench coats” to factories at The Row, one of the Olsen twins’ fashion labels.
The lawsuit claims the interns should have been paid minimum wage because they performed similar tasks as paid employees, and were denied academic or vocational credit as well, USA Today reported, citing the lawsuit.
The company has called the allegations “groundless.”
“Dualstar is an organization that is committed to treating all individuals fairly and in accordance with all applicable laws,” the company said in a statement provided to USA Today. “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.”
The Olsen twins, 29, founded Dualstar, a licensing and manufacturing company, when they were 6, according to the Associated Press. The company, which oversees their two fashion labels, Elizabeth and James and The Row, has produced everything from movies and TV shows to magazines and video games.
“We couldn’t see over the top of the table,” Ashley Olsen told Women’s Wear Daily in 2013 about the early days.
“She was very demanding,” Lalani said, according to Page Six. “I was doing the work of three interns.”
“When we weren’t doing something, they’d be like, ‘Organize the buttons in the back by color code.’ You’re cleaning. You don’t get a set 15-minute break. You just go with their crazy flow. You just [got] caught up in the pressure,” she added. “You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid. They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I’d see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff.”
Lalani said she never worked directly for the Olsens, explaining, “They were never mean to anyone.”