Vox Media has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by 450 writers and site managers who claimed they weren’t paid fair wages for their work.
Started in 2005, SB Nation was originally a sports blog fan site whose bloggers worked for free. It eventually grew into Vox Media with a national staff of full-time employees based mainly in New York and Washington DC. It also continued to retain a network of low-paid bloggers and site managers covering hundreds of individual sports teams across the country. The latter group began filing the class-action suits in September 2017.
According to terms of a preliminary settlement filed in federal district court Monday, $2.5 million “will be apportioned based on weeks worked and a point system, which is tied to whether the person was a Site Manager or a Contributor and whether the class member worked in California, New Jersey or elsewhere in the United States.”
Another $1.5 million will go toward attorneys and other fees.
Eventually three different class actions — filed by Cheryl Bradley, Tamyrn Spruill and Patrick Reddington — were consolidated into one suit. The award in the preliminary agreement ranged from an average of $4,940.88 for Bradley’s class, $7,360.79 for those who were part of the Reddington class and $9,451.49 for members who joined Spruill’s class.
“We have not departed from the company’s previous position as we have always believed that we treat our content creators fairly,” a Vox spokeswoman said. “Ultimately, we weighed the costs of continued litigation and made a business decision that this settlement amount was reasonable and would enable the company to put these cases behind it and move on. There was no admission of liability. We are grateful for the many contributions of our content creators.”
An attorney for the plaintiffs declined to comment.
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