Vox Media Settles SB Nation Lawsuit
We covered this story only briefly on Crossing Broad, but you might recall a lawsuit filed by SB Nation writers, alleging that parent company Vox Media violated labor laws while underpaying them for their work.
In a settlement with more than 450 contributors, Vox will pay out four million dollars, $1.3 million which will go to lawyers and the rest between split up by class action lawsuit members.
Site managers will get a median payout of between about $5,000 and $7,500. Contributors are slated to receive between about $2,100 to $2,500. The payouts will vary depending on the amount worked and where the workers lived — with class members in California and New Jersey receiving more over alleged violations of state law.
As part of the proposed deal, Vox Media will be released from claims it violated state and federal labor laws.
It’s a fraction of what lawyers who filed the lawsuits claim Vox Media was allegedly liable to pay out.
Without having a spread sheet in front of me, that doesn’t seem like a fantastic payout for some of the contributors who were earning basically nothing over the years.
The original Sports Blog Nation started back in 2005 and evolved into a massive network that employed a ton of part time writers, but paid them in peanuts. They were earning small stipends, generally benefiting more from opportunity and experience, an army of freelancers who were sports fans and/or just looking for a few extra bucks on the side. Eventually the network evolved into a monstrosity with a more prominent role in the marketplace, which includes local sites like Bleeding Green Nation. In recent years, SB Nation employees formed their own union, and then some found themselves furloughed when COVID hit.
It’s been quite the rollercoaster ride for SB Nation/Vox Media and a large number of contributors.