Conde Nast to pay $7.5 million to underpaid interns

NEW YORK (AFP) - Publisher Conde Nast has agreed to pay US$5.8 million (S$7.5 million) to thousands of former interns to settle a class action by two plaintiffs who said they were underpaid while working for the group's magazines.

Under the settlement agreement, which avoids a trial in US District Court in New York, each of the approximately 7,500 interns will be paid US$700 to US$1,900.

Conde Nast ended its internship programme after Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib filed their collective lawsuit in June 2013, claiming the mass media group violated labour laws by paying its interns far below minimum wage.

Leib earned just US$300-500 for each of the two summers he interned for The New Yorker. Ballinger claimed she was paid only US$1 per hour when she worked for W magazine in summer 2009.

Some of Conde Nast's other high-end magazines include Vogue, Vanity Fair and Bon Appetit.

Several other media groups have recently been the subject of similar lawsuits.

Last month, NBC Universal agreed to pay US$6.4 million to settle a class suit brought by thousands of unpaid or underpaid interns. It was ordered to pay US$505 to each former intern. The complaint was filed in July 2013.