Seven former employees have sued Ebony and owners CVG Group over unpaid wages.
The former employees are seeking over $31,000 for up to four weeks of unpaid work after they were laid off in June. The company employed about 40 people when most staff jobs were eliminated in May and June, the lawsuit alleges.
Other former employees might join the federal lawsuit, which was filed in New York.
The lawsuit also accuses the company of not reimbursing employees for work-related expenses and improper wage deductions for 401(k) contributions. CVG Group acquired Ebony Media in June 2016.
The lawsuit comes a year after Ebony magazine agreed to pay dozens of freelancers nearly $80,000 to settle another lawsuit over unpaid wages and a week after the resignation of Ebony Media emeritus chairman Linda Johnson Rice, the Johnson Publishing Co. heir.