Magazine publisher Condé Nast agreed Thursday to shell out $5.8 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by thousands of former interns who claimed they were paid less than $1 an hour for summer work.
The settlement agreement, filed in Manhattan federal court, applies to 7,500 interns at Vogue, Vanity Fair and other Condé Nast magazines.
Former interns dating back seven years are expected to receive payments ranging from $700 to $1,900, the settlement says.
The case was the latest in a rash of recent suits brought against media and entertainment companies that paid interns little or no wages.
* * *
Matthew Leib, one of two lead plaintiffs in the Condé Nast suit, claimed he was paid between $300 and $500 per summer while working at The New Yorker in 2010 and 2011, editing and proofreading the “Shouts & Murmurs” and “Talk of the Town” columns.
Lauren Ballinger, the other lead plaintiff, said she was paid only $12 a day working 12-hour days in the accessories department of W in the summer of 2009 — then was denied a recommendation that she claimed she needed to get a college credit for her work.
“We do think this is a favorable settlement,” said one of the interns’ attorneys, Rachel Bien.
Five months after the suit against parent company Advance Magazine Publishers, Inc. was filed last year, Condé Nast said it was scrapping its internship programs.
Over the years, the programs served as launching pads for many fashionistas as well as serving as the inspiration for Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling book “The Devil Wears Prada,” based on her experiences as an assistant for Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
* * *