A D V E R T I S E M E N T
We do not know of you remember but several weeks back, there as all this buzz about a judge who passed a ruling about an unpaid internship problem and thus shed some new light into the often discombobulating world of internships. This judge made it clear that in a lot of different cases, the law actually works in favor of the workers and requires employers to pay their interns minimum wage even though said interns signed up for the job knowing they will be getting next to no cash.
Before we talk about the state of the unpaid internship, we would like to talk about what started all this buzz and it was actually by two interns for production who worked on the set of Black Swan for no pay. Apparently, the company already broke New York’s minimum wage law as they took these two guys on with no plans to pay them. But we tell you, this practice is not unique because many interns in the creative field do a lot of grunt work with no educational value at all. However, they do take the jobs to make connections.
The minimum wage law has been around since 1938 according to our research so it has to be said that tons of companies have broken it since then. Back in the 1940’s, the supreme court even asked the labor department to come up with a test that consisted of six parts and this was to be used to determine of the interns should be paid or not. These conditions state that if the setting is a lot like school, the intern doesn’t take the place of other workers, the employer doesn’t gain any direct advantage from the intern’s work, and the employer is there to train the interne and not just get free labor then the employer doesn’t need to pay. Consequently, if the employer fails to meet all six criteria, they have to pay minimum wage.
To us, the law couldn’t be clearer but this doesn’t mean employers follow them because as the ranks of jobless people swell, more and more of them are taking on unpaid jobs just to they can make their resumes more impressive and they can make connections with people who might just be willing to give them jobs. So while it seems like the days of the unpaid internship is far from over, more and more people are taking a stand and fighting back against companies who exploit them.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
We learned that two years back, the feds did try to crack down on these illegalities but didn’t want to be known as trouble makers. This doesn’t mean though that some people are content to sit idly by. There was news of one intern who sued The New Yorker because they were tasked to handle so many important day to day tasks and were only paid a mere pittance of what they should have been paid. In our opinion, this class action suit, and many others like it are likely to bring down the numbers of unpaid internships but will not bring it down completely and will convince others to start paying up.