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Is it time to reevaluate your intern program?

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in Centerpiece,Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

intern taking notesClaiming that they weren’t unpaid interns at all, several “interns” sued their “employers” for unpaid minimum wages and overtime. And they’ve won. At least one major university has canceled its internship program. Now is the perfect to reexamine at your unpaid intern program.

Is this work? Unpaid internships are supposed to be educational. Not so, claimed interns at a magazine publisher. They alleged that they often worked five days a week, sometimes when college was in session, and for 11 hours a day doing online research, cataloging samples, maintaining equipment, composing story boards and holding casting calls. The magazine was able to fight off the interns’ request to a federal trial court that it rule summarily in their favor. The court ruled that there was some educational training. But the employer isn’t off the hook—the case goes to trial. (Wang v. The Hearst Corporation, D.C. S.N.Y., No. 12 CV 793, 2013)

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