Published: Wednesday, June 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
Clearly the misconception of the "unpaid internship" is widely held. It
has never (since the New Deal, anyway) been legal, except under very specific
circumstances that make the internship about getting general exposure to an
industry or academic credit. If any beneficial work is done for the employer,
the intern should be paid. This has been the law for many years - - and it is
So I guess liberals are only willing to protect the right of two consenting
adults to do some things? The USA seems to becoming less free almost every day.
They 'deserve' compensation? Imagine our office allowing intern
engineers to walk in, look over our shoulders and ask a million questions THEN
tell us they 'deserve' to be paid. It actually costs us to have these
young people in our office, we do it as a service to THEM not as a great befit
It Reminds me of a parable.
Re: dawgdeeluxIf interns in every company only looked over the
shoulder of those doing the work and asked questions, I wouldn't have a
problem with them being unpaid. That is not the case in most unpaid
internships. They are often doing the work of an executive or administrative
assistant, a person who typically makes around 28-32K a year, but the company
gets the service for free. That is wrong. That person does "deserve"
compensation for the work they are doing.
Throw in Obabacare an you recent grads have no hope.
I recently graduated from college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I
can only think of a couple internship postings that stated there would be no pay
and they were from unheard of companies. The more well known the company the
better the pay.Most interns work really hard and I do think that
they deserve to be paid. My internship, according to my supervisor, was of
benefit to the company. My peers talked as if their projects had value. Now,
in my first year in my career, I can for sure say the work of old interns is
constantly being used. We just got an intern this summer and he has been doing
great work. He definitely deserves compensation. The key to making internships
worthwhile is to treat them like employees and give them real work instead of
them being office assistants. Let them be creative, don't dictate how
everything is to be done. If you get an intern asking questions to achieve real
progress then think about extending a job offer. You just trained him for
cheaper than a new hire.
Once again the government is here to protect us from ourselves. The challenge
with landing any job is getting experience. Last year my son did a part time
internship. A few weeks in, the company asked if he would work for them full
time for pay. He never would have gotten his foot in the door if the company
had to pay, because the company had no idea that he would actually add value.
Likewise, my brother-in-law got his first job bagging at a grocery store by
simply doing it until they hired him.No one is forced to do an
unpaid internship. (I will bet that the Judge has interns from his local law
school who are not being paid - though I am sure the Judge considers getting his
coffee and making photocopies for him "educational.") The end result of
this will be a few people getting paid and a bunch of people getting no
experience in their field.As usual, the government's effort to
protect us from ourselves will have unintended consequences.
Nothing is ever what it seems and any good thing such as unpaid internships to
help young entrants into a field of endeavor often tend to be abused, ruining
legitimate programs for those companies doing right by the internship concept.
When the intern fills a position the company would have to fill anyway, that is
no longer an internship. Using recurring internships to provide necessary
personnel is a way for some companies to methodically skirt employment laws.
Internship programs possibly use not-so-obvious pressure to keep other employee
wages lower, so it is a fine line in which case legitimate employers should err
on the safe side, and laws or not, compensate interns for their contribution to
If American companies can't find slave labor here at home, they might
outsource the jobs to Bangladesh or Lower Slobovia.Why can't
those greedy interns see what they are doing to harm America. Taking money from
job creators is so . . . . so . . . . liberal!
I agree, the judge is right and these internships are abusing those who seek a
career in what they trained and spent 4-8 years of school to learn. If these
schools are not providing the proper educaiton that allows them to fall into a
job then there is a problem with the educaiton being given. Internships are training periods but they are still doing a service for the
companies as gofers, and subordinates in a firm or office or hospital. It
doesn't matter what kind of job it is, they all have training and
performing tasks and work under supervision and they deserve pay equal to their
abilities. What makes these companies and business think that
educated interns are slaves and not deserving pay while they are learning the
fine details of a trade? No-one in America has to work for free, slavery and
indentured servitude and minimum wages applies to all amreican citizens.The argument against free intern workers is not justified in this
country where every man has a value and the right to get paid his value and
MormonDemocratYou can't say that someone "deserves" to get
paid if they agreed to an unpaid internship. Not all value is financial.
Internships are a chance for a grads to learn some real world skills and apply
what they are supposed to have learned. If we were to do away with unpaid
internships, we would just end up with more unemployed grads. Just because
someone has a degree, they are not automatically qualified to be a paid
professional. Education teaches skills that make that student more viable in
their career, but it gives them absolutely zero true, real world work
experience. When I graduated I would have done an unpaid internship if it
was an opportunity to grow my skill set and apply what I had learned in school.
I ended getting a paid (barely) internship with the BSA. When I look at my
internship, I never look at the financial benefit of it, but the opportunity I
had to actually do what I had learned. Let's not make the mistake of
feeling entitled to something that we are not prepared to handle. If a new grad
is qualified, they will find a paid internship, or a job.
sjames,Which of these scenarios is ethical?A college
undergrad accepting work without pay from an employer who is happy to have a new
office assistant.An employer who refuses to accept labor without
compensation, even if it means his profit margin is a little less.Just because someone is coerced into a job without pay out of the desire for
career advancement (something many employers and employees now also say is a
fraud, as an internship does not guarantee anything since so many more people
now do it, just like a bachelor's degree does not guarantee a job either as
the number of degree holders has increased), does not mean the employer is in
the right. If someone does work, they should be compensated. When is it ever
acceptable to say "do this work, I won't pay you, but it may help you
secure a job later?"
As an employer I looked at internships as a way to obtain cheap labor. I
reviewed the rules and determined that I was not able to meet them; so no
internships.Every employer has to train their employees to some
degree even if that is just in meeting company specific procedures. The
internship is supposed to be an extension of the educational endeavor outside
normal company training. It needs to have specific, published, goals for each
intern and a timetable to achieve said goals in the time allotted. The goals
should be non specific to the company even as the company derives benefit from
the work performed. The work completed independently should be either open for
all to use, or under a specific pre-agreement to the contrary. Any participation
on a team should be closely monitored for learning and applying skills and team
outcome should be unreliant on the participation of the intern. Over the period
of internship there should be a scheduled change in activities so that it is
evident that the intern is learning and applying new skills. If it
doesn't have some or all of these, or others, it's just labor. Pay
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