Sounds like amateur hour over there at the McBride HQ.
According to a report in the Tennessean, Martina McBride, her husband John and Blackbird Studios, a recording complex they own are being sued by a fired employee alleging violations of federal labor laws including making unpaid interns run a number of personal errands. Richard Hanson, an operations manager, complained about how the interns were being treated and when he was ignored, he filed a labor complaint with the state. He was subsequently fired an hour later according to the complaint.
“Blackbird Studios cooperated with the Department of Labor and they found this claim was not supported by the facts,” Martina McBride said. “John and I have created a culture at Blackbird that is familial and supportive of everyone who walks through its doors.”
According to the lawsuit, interns were required to pick up groceries for Martina McBride, clean bathrooms, take down studio equipment, run personal errands and at one point, go to the McBride’s home to check for an intruder. According to the suit, one of the interns sent to the home was provided a gun, even though the intern had no firearms training. Hanson, who claims the McBride’s labor practices violate the Fair Labor Standards Act, is suing for $1 million in addition to back pay, benefits, front pay and other damages. Hanson claims his firing violated the Tennessee Public Protection Act, because it came as retribution for the complaint he filed with the state.
Good Lord… sending an idiot intern to your house with a gun to check for a home intruder sounds like a pretty horrible idea to me, but who really knows what happened. We’ll get a better idea of the facts as time goes on, unless they settle for a cool million or so. As legal analyst for Whiskey Riff however, I’m of the opinion that firing someone for complaining about your labor practices probably isn’t very good either. Stay tuned.
Just so you know, we pay our interns here at Whiskey Riff. In fact, we’re hiring our very first intern to a full time position next month. Take notes Martina.