This just in ... Condé Nast and its parent company, Advance Publications, have settled the lawsuit that former interns Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib filed suit this past June, alleging that they were misclassified as interns and not paid, in violation of New York and federal laws. According to a memo issued by Advance CEO, Chuck Townsend, (which you can read below) the parties have settled and the magazine publisher's lawyers are still working out the details. One thing that isn't up for negotiation, the discontinuation of all Advance internships (think: no more Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, WWD, Allure, Glamour internships).
Condé Nast had been dragging its feet in the lawsuit, filing a motion to stay (aka hold the suit in suspension for a period of time) until the Second Circuit ruled in the Hearst/Harper’s Bazaar internship lawsuit and the Fox Searchlight/Black Swan lawsuit, without much luck. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said that he wouldn’t stay the suit, ruling the case could go forward despite appeals on the internships’ legal status. The last update prior to the parties' settlement was pretty major. Ballinger and Leib filed for class certification, which, if accepted, would enable former interns from Condé Nast’s 25 magazines, including Vogue!!!, to join the lawsuit.
Today, it became public that Condé Nast is settling the Ballinger v. Advance Magazine Publishers, Inc. lawsuit, which was filed last year as a class action by two former interns.
We are, and have always been, extremely proud of the internship experiences that were offered at Condé Nast. Our internships were considered some of the best in the industry, providing students with unparalleled learning opportunities outside of the classroom. The training and contacts our interns received at Condé Nast helped many begin successful careers here and elsewhere.
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.
As our attorneys are still working out the details of the settlement, we cannot provide any other information at this time. If you are contacted about the settlement or have any questions, please contact JoAnn Murray, SVP of Human Resources.