An intern takes the matter into his own hands

An intern has decided to find out how to report anonymously an employer that violates the FLSA. It seems clear that with 25 unpaid employees, his employer has put herself in an illegal situation. We will keep you posted of major developments.

We need more of these interns aware of those situations who take the time to report their employers if the situation is ever to improve.

Update: He got the most unexpected answer: the Department doesn’t even seem aware of the law! “For unpaid internships and volunteer work are not considered employment relationships since they are usually at-will and not compensated. U.S. Department of Labor regulations address employment relationships between employers and employees.” He’s pursuing the issue. This is getting even more interesting.


4 Responses to An intern takes the matter into his own hands

  1. rodrigo says:

    Does this mean that if you are an unpaid intern you are not considered an employee by the Government?

  2. exintern says:

    I’m not sure I fully understand the ramifications of your question and I don’t have the definition of an employee for the federal government. I guess it would be a good place to start.

    In the meantime, you can read the follow-up to the story above, with a happy ending – for the circumstances.

  3. internsanonymous says:

    In the UK employment law defines a worker as someone who is relied upon, expected to fulfill office hours and do whatever is asked of them-

    an intern/volunteer is someone who can choose their hours, reject any tasks they do not want to do and who should be supernumenary (ie. they are more or less surplus to requirements)

    therefore if an intern is treated as a worker he/she should be paid minimum wage (at least)-

    but we all know that this is not the case- unpaid workers feel compelled to do whatever they are asked to do, work long hours and take on large responsibilities… is going to post up some more info on this subject soon

  4. exintern says:

    Very interesting. Looking forward to reading it. I’d be interested to have the link to the original law, much like there is the Fair Labor Standards Act in the US.

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