Unpaid internships have been slammed as exploitative by the government and campaigners who say they increase inequality.
"I was pretty excited. Coming into the internship, it would be hard to say that I expected to find a planet," Wolf Cukier said.
More than 7,000 interns who worked across Condé Nast's magazine properties are eligible for the payout.
Most states still don't have laws on the books extending protections to interns, making Illinois one of the first in the nation.
The legislation was spurred by a court case that said interns weren't protected by sexual harassment
They're not employees, and courts have ruled they aren't protected if they're sexually harassed
The dueling trends are an indicator of the extent to which the unpaid internship has burrowed its thorny claws into all sectors of the labor market
The policy takes aim at two corporate fantasies: that credit makes up for free labor and that all internships are educational