“The Right Business Decision”: Condé Nast Intern Lawsuit Settled

April 7, 2014  |  

Last summer, we reported on two Conde Nast interns who sued the prestigious media company for pay that was below the minimum wage.

“Two interns who worked for the Conde Nast titles W and The New Yorker filed a lawsuit yesterday for minimum wage and have asked for class action approval on the case. The interns say they were paid less than $1 per hour but had very real responsibilities and worked long hours. “

Conde Nast CEO Chuck Townsend announced that the company has decided to settle the lawsuit.

Capital New York notes Townsend’s statement:

“We believe that settling the lawsuit at this time is the right business decision for Condé Nast. The settlement will allow us to devote our time and resources towards developing meaningful, new opportunities to support up-and-coming talent. Our internships were considered some of the best in the industry, providing students with unparalleled learning opportunities outside of the classroom.”

The lawsuit was filed in June 2013; four months afterward the lawsuit was filed, Conde Nast decided to discontinue their internship program.

Since this prolific case, more interns have come forward to sue their former employees. In November 2013, former interns for Saturday Night Live and MSNBC filed a $5 million lawsuit against their media parent company, NBCUniversal. These cases have come forward, according to BusinessWeek, because these companies are in New York, which no longer has a statute of limitation to file a suit. The magazine writes:

“Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and probably in most states, you have a short statute of limitations. New York law, it’s six years. So you have an internship program that’s been running for a long time, you can get two or three times as many people in your lawsuit and your damages are two or three times bigger. It just makes it more worthwhile for a law firm to bring the case in New York.”

Read the rest of Townsend’s memo here. Details of the settlement weren’t disclosed.

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