All-out war on unpaid internships
Even White House interns are seeking a wage as the current economy makes on-the-job experience a costly privilege.
The unpaid internship is under an all-out assault from labor advocates and former interns who note that not only is it a means of subverting the minimum wage, but it's a tactic that allows only the privileged access to certain institutions and industries.
That argument has gone all the way to the top, CNNMoney reports, now that the Fair Pay Campaign lobbying group has called upon President Barack Obama to pay White House interns. The hope is that the administration will set an example for both private companies and government agencies while helping interns who face massive student loans, minimum-wage job prospects and, potentially, a few more years living at home.
President Obama has spent the summer stumping for a minimum wage increase, but White House internships are unpaid, housing isn't provided and interns should expect to work "at least Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.," according to the White House website. Critics say that sends a conflicted message at best.
"We have a minimum wage law in this country, and just because you call someone an intern doesn't mean you get out of it," said Mikey Franklin, head of the Fair Pay Campaign.
Last week, Facebook (FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In organization backed off an ad it posted for an unpaid internship position. The job posting alone garnered more than 300 comments and even spurred a Change.org petition that called for the nonprofit group to pay.
In June, a federal court ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures (FOXA) violated wage laws by not paying interns who worked on "The Black Swan." The same month, 189 interns who once worked for Charlie Rose and his production company were given about $1,100 in back wages after they brought a lawsuit against the newsman for not paying them.
A minimum-wage battle between Wal-Mart (WMT) and left-leaning magazine The Nation got more pitched this month when the giant retailer chided the publication for using unpaid interns. Although The Nation now pays its dozen or so interns, Wal-Mart notes the publication still pays them minimum wage and may have to cut their numbers.
This past February, an intern filed a $50 million lawsuit against Elite Model Management for violating wage laws, and former interns from Hearst Magazine, Atlantic Records, the website Gawker and Warner Music Group have filed similar suits
The message is simple: In this economy, a small paycheck beats none, and experience isn't worth much if it can't pay down your debts.
my performance was graded and it was unpaid. i made money for these companies, never got compensation and 2 of the companies never have any intention of hiring anyone because they know new interns are forced to work inorder to complete a scholastic program
My husband is in Pharmacy school and forced to do a 3 week unpaid internship (which we pay several thousands of dollars for, as it is to be paid to his school for credits). In additional to having to pay tuition, losing out on three weeks of summer payment from being an employed pharmacy technician, his school only allows internships within that state. He is an out of state student, so he had to pay for housing as well. It is a financial burden for unpaid scholarships in many aspects. Not only do they not get paid, many interns are PAYING for this "opportunity"
There are professions, which REQUIRE internships, where the phrase "training free of charge" does not apply. For example, the registered dietitian.
Your path, most typically, begins in an accredited 4-year Diadactic Program in Diatetics resulting in an undergraduate degree. Now, for those who feel they've obtained adequate knowledge in their program to compete with the other thousands of students who are applying for the few hundred spots in the available UNPAID internship spots across the country they can, in the spring of their senior year, apply for an internship. Here's the kicker - YOU HAVE TO PAY "TUITION" FOR THESE INTERNSHIP SPOTS. This means you pay (sometimes in excess of $50,0000) for the "privilege" of working your **** off for anywhere from 6 months to over a year for hospitals, cafeterias, dialysis centers, WIC, etc... during the day and spending ALL of your free time writing papers, doing research and completing projects making it impossible to work to earn money to "pay as you go" for the internship. Keep in mind, most of the internships are not local, so you have to pay for relocating yourself, food, rent, utilities, gifts for preceptors and instructors, project supplies, etc...
If they pass the national registration exam (which they have to pay to take) they are guaranteed a career of low paying positions while they struggle to pay back student loans, internship debt and support themselves. For those living off of mommy and daddy's dime, it's not a problem but, for those that were not born with a silver spoon in their mouths and feel the field of nutrition/dietetics is their calling/passion, be prepared for 10+ years of student loan and credit card debt. Oh, and they have the added bonus of having to pay for the numerous continuing education credits required to stay registered with the academy. No wonder nutrition is known as the "rich, white girl's profession." Disgusting.
The pot calling the kettle black.LOL...I knew somebody would publicly call out Obama and crew on their double standard agenda. And it's CNN! LOL Dang, this article leads one to believe that maybe the dems are starting to get a clue?? I sure hope this is a sign that the dems/libs are waking up from all the Kool Aid they've been drinking. Oh' and Wal-Mart! You go Wally world, call them all out. lol
I do think interns deserve at least min. wage while they are training for a position/job.
i.e. If you are a young 15 year old with permit to work, say, "Mickey D's" you are paid min. wage while learning. If they didn't pay at least the min. the restaurant chain would be fined to the max and slung through the mud and boycotted because of "slave labor". I wonder if the Obama and crew interns at least get Obama care,food stamps, and a phone? hummmm
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