Thoughts on the Legality of Unpaid Internships

Naresh Vissa writes about unpaid internships, who they benefit, who they don’t and some of the legal ramifications of them over at the USA Today College page.

Listing the U.S. Department of Labor rules for internships is a really nice touch because many employers to not understand the law regarding unpaid internships. I cannot count the number of emails and phone calls I get from publications looking to offer my kids a great experience … when it’s clear what they really are offering, knowingly or not, is an illegal experience.

Oddly, when I try to point that out, they aren’t that interested anymore … or, worse, they call one of my colleagues looking for access to the kids that way. Persistence is good, I guess.

Vissa correctly points out this:

A business that can’t make a profit off an intern making minimum wage is not a very sustainable company. If it can’t pay you now, what makes you think you’ll land a full-time job where you’re forced to be paid in the future? If you do get an offer at the end of your term, the chances of it being good are slim.

Well said, yes?

Mark E. Johnson

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