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Posts Tagged ‘Interns!’

Condé Nast Kills Its (Unpaid) Internship Program

MID-conde-nast-sunrise-226x300This morning WWD learned that its parent company Condé Nast has decided to put the kibosh on all that bad publicity by killing its internship program dead. The company gave no comment or explanation for its decision, but we have a feeling it might have something to do with the summer lawsuit filed by two interns angry over making “less than $1 an hour” at the company. At first Condé simply decided to stop paying its lackeys altogether, but the risk apparently remained too great despite the fact that an identical class action suit against Hearst didn’t go anywhere in the end.

It’s time to re-evaluate the concept of internships. They’re supposed to provide equal opportunity career paths for talented, ambitious young students who can afford to work without getting paid, but they’re more often just a way to get entry-level work done without spending any money on hiring or benefits or any of the other annoying stuff that comes with, you know, running a for-profit business.

The Department of Labor considers internships “employment” (which must be fairly compensated under the law) unless said positions meet a list of strict requirements, so maybe Condé is simply acknowledging the fact that its internships will never meet those criteria. The more likely explanation is that someone determined that the work isn’t worth the headache. No winners here.

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Condé Nast Says ‘Screw It, Let’s Just Stop Paying Our Interns’

They never learn. Or, rather, they learn that they can do whatever the hell they want. In the face of a lawsuit filed by impressionable young folk who made “less than $1 an hour” interning for W Magazine and The New Yorker, publishing giant Condé Nast has decided to double down and make it official: they no longer plan to pay their interns anything at all.

We’ll go out on a long, sturdy limb and assume that the company made this decision after a very similar suit filed against Hearst last year failed to proceed in its original “class action” form. The individually disgruntled interns involved in that case plan to press on alone, but Condé seems to think the whole thing’s a headache not worth having. This despite the fact that two guys who sued after working unpaid internships on the set of Black Swan won a settlement.

So there’s not a whole lot to see here, unfortunately.

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