Labor & Employment

Conde Nast ends internship program; two former interns claimed labor violations in pending suit

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Condé Nast has decided to end its internship program about four months after the filing of a lawsuit claiming the publisher violated labor laws by paying them less than $1 an hour.

Condé Nast’s decision to end its program beginning in 2014 was first reported by Women’s Wear Daily. The New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) also have stories.

The suit was filed by former interns Lauren Ballinger, who worked at W in 2009, and Matthew Leib, who worked at the New Yorker in 2010 and 2011. Ballinger said she was paid $12 a day for 12-hour shifts, while Leib said he was paid stipends of $300 and $500 for the two summers he interned, the Wall Street Journal says.

Condé Nast’s other publications include Vanity Fair, Vogue and Glamour.

Suffolk University law professor David Yamada told the Wall Street Journal that Condé Nast’s decision “shows that these burgeoning lawsuits challenging unpaid internships under wage-and-hour laws are having an impact on corporate America.” Companies shouldn’t be using unpaid interns, he said, if the interns’ responsibilities are vital to corporate operations.

Prior coverage: “Federal judge rules unpaid interns were misclassified employees, certifies class action”

ABA Journal: “More unpaid interns say they want to be compensated”

Updated at 11:40 a.m. to correct a typo.

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