A year after the federal district court ruling that interns for Black Swan should have been paid for their labor attracted major media attention (and spawned numerous other lawsuits), “pay your interns” has become the party line in articles directed towards corporate management.
Just in the last week, insurance agencies,
If you’re a for-profit company offering an unpaid internship, you’re subject to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
…magazines that have featured Richard Branson on their cover,
Extra help at no extra cost sounds like a dream scenario for any small-business owner – but unpaid interns can land a business in a lot of trouble…
…online publications targeted to small businesses,
The Fair Labor Standards Act usually considers internships with the private sector for profit businesses as “employment” and requires those workers to be paid at least the minimum wage as well as overtime pay.
…corporate HR departments,
As internship season approaches, employers are rethinking their use of interns, particularly those who go unpaid.
…and “risk management” professionals,
As summer internship season approaches, businesses should make sure their unpaid intern programs do not become a liability. Businesses that do not adequately address these exposures could be liable for thousands of dollars in legal defense and possible settlement costs…
all agree: it’s simply not worth it for a for-profit business to take on unpaid help. It’s better practice to hire entry-level employees. This means opportunity for those who can’t afford to work for free.
The stock photo depictions of internships in such articles, sadly, are still pretty unenlightened.
If you’re in New York this Sunday, 6/8, and are interested in the transformation of the general attitude towards internships over the last year, or are generally curious about what Intern Labor Rights is all about, you should come to our meeting!
As usual, we’ll be at the Goethe Institut’s Wyoming Building (this is not the main Goethe Institut building!) at 5 East 3rd Street, just off the corner of East 3rd and the Bowery, from 5:30PM to 7:00PM on Sunday June 8. Our meetings are very informal, and we always welcome new people.
Hope to see you Sunday!