Skip to comments.The Murky Ethics (and Crystal-Clear Economics) of the Unpaid Internship
Posted on 05/13/2012 7:13:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
My name is Derek, and I was an unpaid intern.
I begin with a confession, because the unpaid internship has become something of a dishonor, if not a scandal. And, as New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse wrote in his blockbuster take-down of the institution in 2010, I might have helped various companies conspire to break the law -- even if it's the murkiest, most broken law in the country.
Of the 10 million students at four-year colleges in the U.S., more than 75% have at least one internship before graduating. We don't know how many of those internships are unpaid, but Ross Perlin, the author of Intern Nation, estimates that it's up to one-third. "It's the only major category of work that I know of that is not tracked at all by the Bureau of Labor Statistics," Perlin said.
If you've ever had an unpaid internship, there is a distinct chance that you participated in unlawful activity.
The Labor Department has strict guidelines for unpaid interns, and every year, thousands of companies dutifully flout them. Technically speaking, internships must resemble an education rather than a job. Interns cannot work in the place of paid employees. Nor can their work be of "immediate benefit" to an employer.
Every unpaid intern I know -- and every unpaid internship I've had -- broke at least one, if not all, of these rules.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Oh for Heaven’s Sake!
Internships are the way to get experience before getting a job.
Yep - don't know who/what this Derek Thompson at the Atlantic is, but several posts with his work tells me he's a clueless lib.
For the money they’ll make later in their careers they should consider an unpaid internship to be an investment.
I had two unpaid internships while in college, and was glad to have them. Getting paid never crossed my mind.
We are in a rural area, we have to pay our interns if we expect any with potential to apply. We use our internships as a recruiting tool, as a way to get local kids who have gone off to Engineering schools interested in a job with us back in their hometown. It's much harder to lure candidates that don't have ties to the area.
Ya got that right!