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Elite Model Management, the company responsible for bring Gisele Bündchen and Tyra Banks into our lives, has settled a class action lawsuit brought against it by former interns. U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan granted preliminary approval on Friday to the $450,000 settlement—the largest settlement in unpaid intern class action suits yet—meaning more than 100 former interns will receive between $700 and $1,750 each.
According to Fashionista, who spoke with the former interns' rep, Steven L. Wittels of Wittels Law Seven, the amount is determined based on what would cover minimum wage over a four-week period. He called it "a very favorable sum to the interns."
Arguments for and against unpaid internships continue for a variety of reasons, but legal action seems to really force companies to choose a side and reform their policies. Condé Nast, for example, has simply discontinued its internship program altogether while Hearst continues to battle (and often win in some respects) the lawsuits brought against it.
· Elite Models to Fork Over $450,000 to Unpaid Interns in Class Action Settlement [Fashionista]
· Conde's Move to Discontinue Internships Could Be Good News [Racked]
· Unpaid Intern Has Lost the Class-Action Case Against Hearst [Racked]