The New York Times had an article about unfair internships yesterday (Growth of Unpaid Internships May be Illegal, Officials Said) and suddenly the media realizes that it exists. Not that it’s all original and articulated reporting, but still, it’s a little jolt, a minute of attention for such a widespread illegal practice.
“If you’re an unpaid intern or the employer of an unpaid intern, don’t be surprised if you hear from the Labor Department soon.” Labor Department to Rescue College Kids From Illegal Unpaid Internships, New York Magazine
Let’s hope so.
“I’m alarmed about the increasing number of unpaid internships. Unless an internship is with a nonprofit organization or qualifies for at least three college credits, all interns should be paid. ” Tough Choices: Paid, Unpaid or Purchased Internships, Chicago Blog
Not so sure about the credit solution, but well-intentioned. It’s not about being credited, it’s about being a trainee.
“Have you had an unpaid internship? Did it break the laws outlined in the article? Should the Department of Labor continue to crack down on unpaid internships and will this make finding summer work harder?” Unpaid Volunteer Interns of the World Unite?, The Daily Princetonian
I really wish the student newspapers would do more to cover this issue than link to the occasional and rare NYT article.
“Wealthy corporations and organizations take advantage of the highly competitive job market, which now resembles a pack of lions fighting over the carcass of a wildebeest, and exploit the fears and ambitions of college students and recent grads to create a slave labor situation that not only betrays the foundational spirit of internships, but may also violates labor laws.” Battle to end slave-internships more important than it seems, True/Slant
This is a nice explanation for those who think that unfair internships are “voluntary”.
“The New York Times reported Saturday Oregon, California and New York are among those states where investigations have been launched.” Business News: Unpaid internships under scrutiny, UPI.com
No new reporting other than quoting “the Times said”. Their tag line: “100 years of quality journalism”…
“One of the most despicable sides to these false no-/hypolow – pay “internships” is that the colleges and universities are colluding in it. Nay, even pushing and promoting it.” Commenter on Students Said to Be Among Victims of Boom in Unpaid Internships, The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Speaking of, shouldn’t they be covering this issue more than the NYT?
“Check out the largest (and often, smallest) radio station groups. As an executive, I was told to hire new intern(s), and use them for as long as possible. I was then told to let them go, and never offer a job, asa the position would then be filled by the next intern. Totally free labor, and more money to be enjoyed by the ownership. By the way, I didn’t comply, and had to resign to maintain a measure of dignity. This policy is probably marginally legal, but highly unethical. Another of the many problems with broadcast media across the nation.” Commenter on Crackdown on Illegal Internships, from The Daily Beast
Thank God for the commenters because the Daily Beast did nothing but quote the Times. Same thing at the Huffington Post.
Now let’s see: how long will it last? Let’s hope that this week-end coverage will not be seen as the gollden age of media coverage of unfair internships, but the beginning of a movement.
Updated, because it’s too funny.