Warner Music Group Settles Lawsuit Over Unpaid Interns

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Warner Music Group has now become the largest music company to resolve litigation over its past internship programs. On Thursday, the attorney for the plaintiffs wrote a letter to the judge announcing that the substantive terms had been agreed upon by the parties.

The lawsuit was a consolidated action brought by lead plaintiffs Kyle Grant, who interned at Warner Bros. Records from August 2012 to April 2013, and Justin Henry, who worked at WMG subsidiary Atlantic Recording Corp. between October 2007 and May 2008.

Last May the plaintiffs, represented by attorneys at Virginia & Ambinder and Leeds Brown, got a green light from the judge to put out a class-action notice to an estimated 3,000 other individuals who might be covered by the claims of labor violations.

The settlement will cover the class and the amount being paid by WMG hasn't been revealed yet but will be by March 9, when the parties are expected to seek the judge's preliminary approval.

WMG joins other companies including NBCUniversal, Viacom and ICM Partners that have come to settlement agreements in the last few months. On Friday, ICM revealed in court documents the terms of its own settlement. The talent agency will be paying up to $725,000 to resolve claims.

Meanwhile, Fox is still fighting a summary judgment loss over its lawsuits at an appeals court. Also on Friday, the 2nd Circuit heard oral arguments in the case involving two interns who worked on Black Swan over how to determine an "employer" under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Against this backdrop, new lawsuits over internships continue to arrive on the court docket.

On Jan. 26, represented by the same lawyers who fought the battle against WMG, Allyson Kocivar brought a lawsuit on behalf of herself and other similarly situated against Wenner Media, parent company of Us Weekly and Rolling Stone magazines. Also that day, Camille Demere filed a proposed class action against CBS Corporation and CBS Radio.

Email: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com
Twitter: @eriqgardner