On the practice and legality of unpaid internships

This blog has addressed periodically the widespread, often exploitative, and frequently illegal practice of unpaid internships. It appears this topic is finally receiving needed attention. For those who are interested in learning more, here are three resources from the past year worth downloading:

U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet

Good sign: In April, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division released Fact Sheet No. 71, providing guidance on determining whether student interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime by for-profit, private employers. It can be downloaded here.

George Washington University conference book

In October, George Washington University hosted a conference, “The Regulation of Unpaid Internships,” which included an excellent program book that can be downloaded here. It’s full of useful information.

Economic Policy Institute policy memorandum

In April, the Economic Policy Institute released a detailed policy memorandum, “Not-So-Equal Protection–Reforming the Regulation of Student Internships,” which can be downloaded here.


My 2002 article

I am pleased that my 2002 Connecticut Law Review article, “The Employment Law Rights of Student Interns,” anticipated many of the issues being addressed today. In it, I suggested that failing to pay student interns often violates minimum wage laws and may leave them without the protections of employment discrimination laws. The article can be downloaded here.

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