(REUTERS) – Condé Nast on Monday won a federal judge’s preliminary approval to pay $5.85 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by thousands of former interns who claimed the magazine publisher underpaid them.
In granting preliminary approval, U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman in Manhattan said the payout appeared reasonable, citing an estimate by the interns’ lawyers that it exceeded 60 percent of estimated unpaid wages.
“Given defendant’s size and stature in the publishing world, I assume it could withstand greater judgment,” Pitman wrote. “This fact, by itself, however, does not render the proposed settlement unfair.”
Pitman scheduled a June 22, 2015, fairness hearing to consider final approval of the settlement.
The lawsuit is one of many accusing media and entertainment companies of paying interns little or nothing for their work.
Condé Nast canceled its internship program soon after it was sued in June 2013.