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A judge has granted preliminary approval for a settlement that ends a class action lawsuit filed against IMG Worldwide LLC and William Morris Entertainment for allegedly violating New York labor statutes. The primary plaintiff in the class action lawsuit asserted that IMG Worldwide and William Morris failed to abide by New York labor statutes by not paying interns minimum wage.
Primary plaintiff Richard Carden, who worked as an intern for IMG Worldwide, filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of other IMG Worldwide and William Morris interns who did not receive the legally mandated compensation of minimum wage. According to court documents, Carden wanted IMG Worldwide and William Morris to pay current and former interns lost minimum wages.
Federal and state laws require employers to compensate employees by paying at least minimum wage. Although the law does not make unpaid internships illegal, unpaid internships must follow clear criteria to receive approval from federal and state labor regulators. Federal and state internship laws prevent companies from exploiting free labor.
IMG Worldwide and William Morris have repeatedly denied the class action lawsuit allegations. However, the company settled the class action lawsuit to avoid the high costs of litigating a civil trial.
What You Need To Know About The IMG Worldwide Unpaid Internship Class Action Settlement
Class counsel stated that eligible class members “include anyone who was an unpaid intern for IMG Worldwide or IMG Productions in New York at any time during the period from Dec. 18, 2008 to May 31, 2017, and/or for William Morris Entertainment at any time from May 31, 2014 to May 31, 2017.” Qualifying class members have until October 31, 2017 to opt out of the class action settlement or contest any of the provisions of the agreement. Eligible class members who worked as unpaid interns for IMG Worldwide or IMG Productions will receive a $505 award, while the unpaid interns at William Morris can expect an award of $445.
Class members must file IRS form W-9 and proof of identification in the form of a driver’s license, passport, or college ID. Unconfirmed class members must submit verification they interned at one of the companies listed as defendants during the designated class period. The deadline to file a valid claim form is October 2, 2017 for confirmed class members and January 29, 2018 for unverified class members. The judge who granted preliminary approval for the class action settlement case In re: IMG Worldwide LLC Litigation, Case No. 162501/2014, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County presided over the final hearing on May 30, 2017. Find out what happened at the final hearing by accessing the class action website www.IMGInternSettlement.com. The class action website also presents the list of attorneys who represent the class and defense counsels.