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Condé Nast is latest target of unpaid internship lawsuits

Two former interns accuse the magazine publisher of violating DOL guidelines

Just a little more than a month after a court told Hearst Corp.’s former unpaid interns that they couldn’t pursue a class action, intern rage turned toward the other giant of magazine publishing: Condé Nast.

Two former Condé Nast interns—Matthew Leib, who interned at The New Yorker in 2009 and 2010, and Lauren Ballinger, who worked for W Magazine in 2009—sued Condé Nast on Thursday in a Manhattan district court, with the now-classic argument that the publisher’s intern program violates Department of Labor guidelines by not paying its interns minimum wage. The guidelines state that interns must not be replacements for employees, or bring advantage to the company, unless they are paid.

Leib claims he made $300 to $500 for the two summers he worked at The New Yorker, editing, reviewing submissions and maintaining the magazine’s online cartoon database. Ballinger says she made $12 a day working in W’s accessories department. They both claim to have made less than $1 an hour in their positions. Ballinger told the New York Times that she filed the lawsuit because W did not give a recommendation to her school, The American University in Paris, which she needed to get credit.

The suit seeks class action status.


Read more about angry interns on InsideCounsel:

Cheat Sheet: Managing the litigation risk of unpaid interns

Former Hearst interns can’t pursue class action, thanks to Dukes

Externs who received credit can’t sue for wages

Hearst lawyers email former unpaid interns seeking stories of “valued opportunities”

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