Interns are not free labor, says the law

Once again, someone asks a lawyer what makes a fair internship in the US and they get the same answer: Do not regard interns as a source of free labor.”

Courtney Warmington provides an interesting suggestion. Since it is recommended that employers make their unpaid interns sign a paper that informs them of the unpaid nature of the internship, why not include some language from the Fair Labour Standards Act? Ask to add that the internship will be to your benefit and that the company won’t get a substantial advantage from your intership. Remember, interns, that signing a document does not enslave you: “An employee may not waive his or her right to minimum wage by signing a document to work for free.”


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