UNPAID INTERNSHIPS: A TALE OF LEGAL DISSONANCE

Author: 

Gregory S. Bergman

“Should everyone be paid something, or are unpaid internships simply a part of getting your foot in the door?” That quote typifies the ultimate question about unpaid internships and the law. As of 2013, the American economy is still slowly recovering from its 2008 collapse. In April 2012, 13.2% of 20– 24 year olds were unemployed, which reflected the weak recovery among America’s young workers. The fact that unpaid internships have proliferated into more industries in recent years has added to the stagnant employment numbers among college students and recent graduates. Unpaid internships present a complicated problem because they provide an important experiential opportunity for college students and a recruiting opportunity for employers. However, employers also have the opportunity to use unpaid internships to violate the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which requires employers to pay employees a minimum wage and an overtime wage. View More