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New York labor law includes provisions that prevent employers from taking advantage of the hard work put in by interns. One of the provisions stipulates the payment of some form of wages to interns who in some other states take the same positions in unpaid roles.
Primary plaintiff Oluseyi Awogbile filed the Kenneth Cole unpaid internship class action lawsuit. According to court documents, Awogbile asserted Kenneth Cole broke a New York labor statute that requires employers to compensate interns. The lead plaintiff requested back pay for unpaid wages, as well as payment for the costs connected to litigating the class action lawsuit.
Terms of the class action settlement require Kenneth Cole to set up a settlement fund of $354,375. A plaintiff incentive award goes to primary plaintiff Awogbile and class members receive distributions from the settlement fund as well. The settlement fund also covers court costs and attorney fees.
Kenneth Cole continues to deny the class action lawsuit allegations. However, the company decided to settle the case to avoid the high costs associated with a protracted civil trial.
What You Need To Know About The Kenneth Cole Unpaid Internship Class Action Settlement and Lawsuit
Class counsel stated the class action settlement “covers all persons who worked as current and former interns for Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. and Kenneth Cole Consumer Direct LLC between Dec. 2, 2008 and July 31, 2017.” The class action settlement is divided into verified and unverified class members. Verified class members received a class notice and claim form on August 16, 2017. Unverified class members worked in an internship for Kenneth Cole, but were not mentioned in any of the records kept by the company. Eligible class members have until October 16, 2017 to opt out of the class action settlement or dispute any provision of the agreement. Qualifying class members have the potential to receive an award up to $315. Every eligible class member must complete IRS Form W-9 and send the form with a copy of a government issued ID and the class action settlement claim form. Unverified class members must submit proof they worked for Kenneth Cole.
Class members must submit the claim form my fax, mail, or email, as the class action settlement does not offer an online claim form. The deadline to submit a claim form is October 16, 2017 for verified class members and February 12, 2018 for unverified class members. The judge presiding over the case Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. Intern Settlement, Case No. 161886/2014, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for New York County held the final hearing on July 31, 2017. Visit the class action settlement website KCPInternSettlement.com to learn what transpired during the final hearing. The class action settlement website also presents the list of attorneys who represent the class and defense counsels.