New York Times: The Legality of the Unpaid Intern
Since using unpaid interns has been fairly popular among webcartoonists for the past several years, it’s interesting to see this piece on ther legal issues involved.
If you’re going to use an unpaid intern, take a note from folks like Dave Kellett who arranges it through local universities in exchange for college credit.
With job openings scarce for young people, the number of unpaid internships has climbed in recent years, leading federal and state regulators to worry that more employers are illegally using such internships for free labor.Convinced that many unpaid internships violate minimum wage laws, officials in Oregon, California and other states have begun investigations and fined employers. Last year, M. Patricia Smith, then New York’s labor commissioner, ordered investigations into several firms’ internships. Now, as the federal Labor Department’s top law enforcement official, she and the wage and hour division are stepping up enforcement nationwide.