Yesterday Charlie Rose and his production company shelled out $250,000 to a group of former interns to settle a class-action lawsuit over unpaid wages.
It's a scenario that should sound familiar to those of us in the fashion media world. The suit is not unlike the one former Harper's Bazaar intern Diana Wang is bringing against Hearst--only Wang's is on a much bigger scale. "I'd go as far as to say this case will likely influence settlement talks in the Hearst suit," Elie Mystal, our legal expert over at our brother site Above the Law told us.
Lawyer Rachel Bien told the New York Daily News that "media industry players are scrambling to revamp their operations in the wake of the Charlie Rose outcome and separate lawsuits filed by former interns against the Fox and Hearst corporations."
Since the Charlie Rose case was settled, no legal precedent regarding unpaid interns has been set, but it does set an example for upcoming cases--including the suit against Hearst.
"The case could prove to be a watershed moment," the lawyer of the Charlie Rose intern who started the suit told the News.
We're thinking this could mean a big payout for Wang et al and more suits to follow.