The readers of the Kansas City Star (and this blog) will have no excuse to provide unfair internships: the advice provided is crystal clear:
“The presumption with the Department of Labor is that if a worker works for a company and the company benefits, then the worker has to be paid minimum wage or better,” Zweig said.
And as the economy seems to slow down, here’s a good reminder: unfair internships are not a solution.
“Employers in a tight economy can’t just look at unpaid internships as a way to save labor costs. They have to be aware of the danger zones.”
And here’s a very good way to know if an internship is unfair:
Rule of thumb? A third party should be able to conclude that the unpaid work provided more educational benefit to the intern than a monetary benefit to the employer.
Even if you’re not in Kansas City, remember that the law applies to you as well, whether you’re an employer or an intern.