The Incredible Shrinking Opportunities for Young People

Jess Remington:

Condé Nast, the globally renowned media publisher that produces magazines like Glamour, The New Yorker, and Wired, announced late last month that it will no longer offer its internship program. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by two former interns, Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib; in June, the interns sued Condé Nast for months of backpay, alleging that the publisher violated federal and state labor laws.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Leib alleged that the New Yorker paid him well below minimum wage—in stipends of $300 to $500—for each of the two summers he had worked at the prestigious weekly, where he reviewed and proofread articles. Ms. Ballinger alleged in the complaint that she was paid $12 a day for shifts of 12 hours or more at the fashion magazine.

The case is still pending, but Condé Nast’s decision has been made. The current crop of interns will not be affected – they will just be the program’s final participants.


Reminds me of a true story.

Back in the ’60s and ’70s, my grandfather would throw a company picnic each summer for all the employees. Food, beer, games, the words — all on a gorgeous summer Saturday in one of St. Louis’s many fine parks.

But I don’t remember which park, because I never got to go to one, not even when I was working summers there.

See, while I was still a small boy some smart Teamster filed a complaint against the company. The picnic, he argued, was a company event — therefore all the union guys should get paid for attending. And since it’s held on a Saturday, they should get paid time-and-a-half.

Grandpa didn’t even try to fight it. He didn’t consult his lawyer or anything. He simply and immediately cancelled the picnic and never held one again. In other words he went, in a very small way, Galt.

It’s a shame, too. I totally would have snagged some free beers.


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