Editor’s Note: Sometimes, readers ask about past TLNT articles they may have missed. That’s why on Fridays we republish a Classic TLNT post some of you have asked about.
Pardon me while I shed a few tears for the end of college internships as we have known them.
The recent post here on TLNT by labor attorney Patti Weisberg of Walter & Haverfield couldn’t have been clearer: “If your company offers unpaid internships to students, take heed, (because) the U.S. Department of Labor has begun to crack down on employers that do not pay interns or do not pay them properly.”
Okay, I get that. People deserve to get paid for the work they do. However, I’m still troubled by the crackdown on unpaid internships because it threatens to kill a time-honored tradition that helped me, and many others, as we were trying to launch our careers. Read more…
By John E. Thompson
We have warned for some time now that businesses and other organizations should think carefully if they are considering the possibility of permitting unpaid internships.
What might be described as the internship “season” is fast-approaching, so the time to consider whether and under what circumstances to get involved in these relationships is now. Read more…
I’ve never been a fan of unpaid internships and I’ve never been with a company that has offered them (at least on my watch). People who work for the benefit of the company (and I’d argue that most internships are structured that way) deserve to be paid, at least minimum wage.
A company that pulls in a decent profit can’t afford to pay an intern minimum wage for 5-10 hours a week? Spare me the excuses. If that’s really the case, you already can’t afford interns, even if you don’t pay them at all.
Still, people who reluctantly defend unpaid internships always go back to the old tired defense of this practice: any internship, even an unpaid one, is better than nothing. It helps these students out and gets them experience, even if they don’t get a paycheck. Hard to argue against that.
But does that unpaid experience really help them get a job? According to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, that answer is an emphatic no.
By John E. Thompson
As we reported earlier, a former Harper’s Bazaar unpaid intern is pursuing a lawsuit against publisher the Hearst Corporation in which she claims (among other things) to have been an “employee” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act who was not compensated in compliance with that law.
A New York federal judge has now conditionally approved the case as a “collective action.” This means that the lawsuit will proceed as the FLSA’s version of a class action, including that court-authorized notice of the complaint will be sent to potential class members to let them know that they may join the lawsuit if they choose to do so. Read more…
By Patricia F. Weisberg
With regular college classes ending for the summer, employers nationwide likely are ramping up their summer internship programs – and in some cases putting themselves at risk for an administrative investigation or lawsuit, if they aren’t careful.
This time-honored tradition that helps young workforce hopefuls get their foot in the door in their respective career paths has been put under the microscope by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and even interns themselves, over the past couple of years in respect to payment — or lack thereof.
Historically, many internship programs have been unpaid, and in the aftermath of the recession, even some employers that previously provided pay to student workers have revamped their internship offerings to an unpaid status. Read more…
Here are nine great reasons to bring young talent into your company as interns. They’re smarter than you think; just set them up to prove it.
#1 – Intern doesn’t mean “dumb kid”
Plenty of great talent has and will continue to be passed up simply because it comes in young packaging. It’s the great conundrum of hiring young people: employers want to hire experience, but experience comes with work, and to get work, it really helps to have experience.
But shouldn’t passion count for something, as well? Internships are a softer approach; you can give them a shot without over-committing. And you might just find the next great mind in your field. Read more…
With final exams underway at colleges across the U.S., it’s only a matter of weeks before the first of millions of young Millennials will be out of school for the summer. Will they have jobs?
The answer is a resounding, “Maybe.”
The National Association of Colleges and Employers says employers expect to hire more new grads this year than last, and the hiring picture has even improved since early last fall. The organization’s spring survey update found employers are planning to increase their grad hiring by 10.2 percent over last year. In the fall survey, the increase was 9.5 percent. Read more…
Leave it to The New York Times to ferret out the dirty little secret of unpaid internships: sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, and sometimes, they are a complete and total waste of time.
Raise your hand if comes as a huge shock and surprise.
There was a bit of a news wrinkle in The Times story — that because of the economy and a lack of jobs, more college graduates are going the unpaid internship route immediately upon graduation — but the rest of it, was, well, what you have probably heard and maybe even experienced before. Read more…
By John E. Thompson
A few readers were surprised by our April 4 post’s caution (Unpaid Interns at Non-Profits: Is Having Them “Volunteer” a Better Option?) that, in some scenarios, a volunteer performing work for a federal Fair Labor Standards Act-covered non-profit organization might be an “employee” subject to that law’s compensation requirements.
One observed that many non-profits are staffed in whole or in part by volunteers and described a longstanding sector-wide impression that non-profits may use volunteers for work with what the commenter described as “near-complete liberty.”
FLSA principles do not as a general proposition prevent non-profits from using non-employee volunteers under the right circumstances. But, whatever the conventional wisdom or prevailing practice might be, one should not simply assume that non-profits may do so with near-complete liberty. Read more…
By John E. Thompson
A reader of our March post relating to unpaid internships at non-profit organizations (see Are Internship Rules Different at Non-Profits or When Arranged by Schools?) asks whether non-profits can avoid the intern debate by offering “volunteer” opportunities to engage in charitable or public-service activities.
But this simply changes the nature of the potential problem.
“Volunteer” activities can be FLSA employment
Considering someone to be a “volunteer” does not necessarily mean that he or she is a non-employee for federal Fair Labor Standards Act purposes. This is true even if: Read more…