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Ebony settles lawsuit with National Writers Union over unpaid work

Ebony Magazine agreed to pay out $80,000 among 45 freelancers on Wednesday to settle a lawsuit over the magazine’s failure to pay for contracted and published work. | Sun-Times file photo

Ebony Magazine agreed to pay out $80,000 among 45 freelancers on Wednesday to settle a lawsuit over the magazine’s failure to pay for contracted and published work.

The National Writers Union filed a lawsuit in Cook County Court against Ebony Media Organization and CVG Group LLC, which acquired Ebony in 2016, after a social media campaign called #EbonyOwes.

“The Ebony freelancers have shown what is possible when we stand together as a union,” said NWU president Larry Goldbetter in a release.

Ebony will pay the freelancers in four quarterly payments, starting with the oldest invoices.

“This is such an important victory. Too often, freelancers are willing to write off late payment and nonpayment as the cost of doing business. That ends today. I hope other publications get the message,” Ebony freelancer AJ Springer said in a release.