What do you do when you’re sued by two former interns claiming they were paid (well) below minimum wage? You might be tempted to answer ‘pay them’, which does indeed sound like the logical solution. But Condé Nast has come up with an interesting alternative to the conferring of actual dollars: Just discontinue their entire internship program.
WWD reported this morning that the publisher of Vogue, Lucky, Glamour, Vanity Fair, W, The New Yorker, Teen Vogue, Allure and even WWD itself will no longer be offering internship programs come 2014. The decision is a reaction to the lawsuit brought forth by Lauren Ballinger, an intern at W in 2009, and Matthew Leib, who worked at The New Yorker in 2009 and 2010. The case is still pending.
Hearst, also facing litigation from former interns, has not commented on the status of their own internship program. Last February a former intern at Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar claimed the magazine violated minimum wage and overtime laws. After the case was thrown out she appealed, and the suit remains unresolved. In another case that was settled in June, two interns who worked for Fox Searchlight successfully sued the studio for similar reasons.
But don’t worry, budding journalists, fashion freaks and intrepid Photoshoppers. You can still work your way up the ranks at Condé. Especially if you’re looking to break into editorial, for which the publisher is currently seeking to fill an astronomical two (2) positions that don’t require extensive prior experience: A writer at Bon Appétit and a Digital Editorial Associate at W.
BRB, face-palming forever.
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