The rule of thumb: pay your interns

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.

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