Condé Nast has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle a class action lawsuit lead by Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib. The former W Magazine and New Yorker interns, respectively, filed suit in the Southern District of New York in June 2013, claiming that Advance (by way of its subsidiary magazines) violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State Labor Law by misclassifying them as interns (as opposed to entry-level employees) and thus, failing to pay them. The settlement agreement, which was initially reached in April, has finally resulted in a number. Former interns dating back as far as June 2007 are expected to receive payments ranging from $700 to $1,900, according to the settlement. The class action lawsuit, which covers approximately 7,500 interns at Condé Nast magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair, is what lead the publishing giant to rather abruptly discontinue its internship program.
In an internal email about the settlement, Condé Nast Chief Executive Officer Chuck Townsend, said he still believed the company's magazine internships "were among the best in the media business." He told Reuters: "Settling the lawsuit is the right business decision for Condé Nast, as it allows us to focus our time and resources on developing meaningful, new opportunities to support future up-and-coming talent."