I have an unpaid intern. He’s a student whom I order to do a little grounds maintenance and some cleanup tasks. The way I look at it, he’s learning, and I’m getting free labor.
Before the U.S. Department of Labor knuckles my door in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the grounds maintenance is lawn mowing, the cleanup is trash removal from a bedroom, and the intern is my son. That sort of working relationship can only happen in the home.
Of course in the workplace, you cannot get free labor. That means if you have an internship program, the students you bring on will likely need to be paid.
Consider that recently unpaid interns have been rising up and filing lawsuits claiming violations of federal and state laws governing minimum wages and overtime. One of the more high-profile cases involved two interns who claimed Fox Searchlight Pictures, during the production of the film “Black Swan,” put them to work as if they ...(register to read more)