Steinfeld said the media and brokerage firms are among those using unpaid interns sometimes with the promise of future jobs.”They always had paid internships,” said Steinfeld, referring to the brokerage firms. All of a sudden, in this economy, there are big-name firms saying ‘if you want into this business, you’ll have to work for free doing cold calling,'” he said.
The practice remains illegal nevertheless.
Even after graduation, some work as unpaid “interns” in situations that violate state labor laws. State Labor Department spokesman Leo Rosales said students may only work for free if they get school credit. After graduation, the minimum $7.15 hourly wage is required.