Previously unseen court documents show that the former Harper's Bazaar intern suing Hearst allege that she did not do her job that well, but her lawyer, who is crusading against the practice of unpaid internships in glamorous fields, says that doesn't change the law. "It has nothing to do with the legal claims in this case," Elizabeth Wagoner, the lawyer representing Diana Wang, told The Atlantic Wire. In court documents unearthed by Buzzfeed's Jessica Testa, senior accessories editor Sam Broekema wrote that Wang's bad behavior included "repeatedly provided interns with the wrong address for a pick-up or return," and covering up those mistakes instead of alerting her supervisors. He also said she risked losing or breaking the magazine's expensive merchandise and had overall bad performance that led to a talking-to at some point during her stint.
But as Wagoner argues, no matter how awful she was, Wang still deserved to be paid under the Fair Labor and Standards Act. Since the case hinges on whether unpaid interns are employees (who must legally be paid) or there to learn (and thus no pay), it seems odd that Hearst would get into Wang's poor on-the-job performance, since that seems to suggest their interns have a job to do and not just soaking up education.