CALLING ALL INTERNS…: Former Condé Nast interns have until June 16 to file legal forms if they want to collect their settlement in the class-action lawsuit against their ex-employer. The $5.9 million settlement was reached last April, after 7,500 interns claimed that Condé Nast failed to pay them at least minimum wage and overtime when working for the publisher’s titles, which include Vogue, Details, Glamour and GQ. The well-publicized lawsuit caused Condé Nast to suspend its intern program as a result — sending editors into a panic over how they were going to get many of the more menial jobs done at their magazines.
This story first appeared in the March 20, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Those who nabbed one of the coveted internship spots from between June 13, 2007, and Dec. 29, 2014, received electronic forms via e-mail on Wednesday from Condé Nast with a detailed breakdown of the settlement, should they consent to collect the sum.
Each intern could collect between $700 and $1,900, depending on the type of internship they had. The salary for a summer internship in the fashion closet of a magazine garners between $1,400 and $1,900 — the higher sum if no stipend was received.
Non-closet summer interns will pull $1,000 if they got a stipend, and $1,400 without a stipend. An intern working during the school year would earn $700 or $1,250 without a stipend. All of this is before taxes.
As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, from the New York-based firm Outten & Golden LLP, would receive about $650,000 and costs of about $10,000, service payments of $10,000 each for the two interns who initially brought the lawsuit and the administrator’s fees of about $98,500 — for a total of $768,500.
But the former interns shouldn’t rush out and charge a pair of Louboutins or Manolos before they get their hands on the money: For those looking to collect quickly, there may be a hiccup, as the settlement sums “may be reduced on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of class and collective members who return claim forms,” according to the papers sent by Condé Nast. In nonlawyer speak, it means the more people who send in the forms, the smaller the payment might be.
Then there might be the privileged few for whom money is no object: They could fill out a form to opt out of the settlement altogether. Why would they? Because it would allow them to sue Condé Nast for labor violations all over again.