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Two Former Conde Nast Interns File Lawsuit for Unpaid Wages

Right on the heels of an internship victory over Fox Searchlight, we heard of another lawsuit filed by interns.

A class action suit was filed on behalf of two Conde Nast interns alleging the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York labor laws. The suit argues the interns must be paid minimum wage since they worked for the employer and performed productive work even when they learned a new skill and professionally benefitted from the internship.

We received a release from law firm Outten & Golden LLP which represents the plaintiffs. It indicated Lauren Ballinger worked at W Magazine. In the accessories and fine jewelry departments, she packed and unpacked accessories and jewelry in addition to running errands and completing insurance forms.

In addition, Matthew Leib, was an intern at The New Yorker and reviewed submissions and passed along recommendations to his supervisors. He responded to readers’ e-mails, proofread, line edited, and communicated among writers, cartoonists and editors.

As per the suit, she earned $12 each day (you read that right — that’s per day, not hour). Regardless of the number of hours worked, her day rate remained $12. As for Leib, he earned $300 to $500 for two internships in 2009 and 2010. In the first internship, he worked from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and in the second one, he worked from 11 a.m. until 6 or 7 p.m.

They both seek to recover unpaid wages, interest and attorney fees and costs for interns who worked in the fashion, accessories and fine jewelry departments of Conde Nast’s magazine between June 13, 2007 and the date of a final judgment. Per the suit, this applies to 100 people.

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