On April 21, 2015, The Dugger Law Firm, PLLC filed a federal complaint on behalf of Devyn Abdullah, the first winner of The Face television modeling competition, against her former modeling agency, Direct Model Management, Inc., as well as Direct owner and president Mykola Webster, and Direct head of finance Atiff Joseph, for violations of federal and state wage and hour laws, as well as breach of contract.
The complaint alleges that Defendants misclassified Ms. Abdullah as an independent contractor in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.
Among other violations, Ms. Abdullah alleges that Defendants withheld, and otherwise failed to pay her, at least $13,000 of her wages from The Face competition award of a $50,000 contract with Ulta Beauty.
The complaint also alleges that Defendants failed to pay Ms. Abdullah for work with several additional modeling industry clients.
Ms. Abdullah seeks payment of minimum wages, payment of unpaid earned wages, liquidated damages with respect to minimum wages that were eventually paid but were not paid promptly, reimbursements for illegal deductions, additional associated liquidated damages, as well as damages for breach of contract and New York Labor Law recordkeeping violations.
The case is Abdullah v. Direct Model Management, Inc., et al., No. 15 Civ. 03100, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.