A former manager at the recording studio owned by Martina McBride and her husband, John, is suing the couple and the recording company for retaliation and unlawful termination.
The plaintiff managed the unpaid internship program at Blackbird Studios from June 2012 until June 2017. He alleges the couple "made it a practice to assign unpaid interns job tasks that provided little or no education or training benefits."
Interns allegedly cleaned the bathroom, went grocery shopping for the couple, and even had to check their house in the middle of the night for an intruder. According to the plaintiff, the couple assigned these tasks to interns so they would not have to pay an employee to do them.
The plaintiff further alleges that the couple would yell at, or scold, unpaid interns who did not perform these menial tasks. Multiple interns allegedly left the program, claiming, "This is not what I signed up for."
The manager believed that the interns were entitled to minimum wage and the program violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). He alleges that the couple refused to fix the internship program, so he reported it to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
The plaintiff alleges that the couple wrongfully terminated him in retaliation for reporting the program to the DOL. Elyse Dupre "Martina McBride and Her Husband Face $1 Million Lawsuit Over Retaliation Claims," eonline.com (Jun. 12, 2018).