US Labor Dept Focused on Growth of Unpaid Internships

HopeTracker| Today’s NYTimes writes that the growth of unpaid internships may be illegal and the US labor department is investigating. Six key factors determine the legality of an internship and providing unpaid work in exchange for experience is not legal.

The six criteria are:

1. Training is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;

2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees;

3. The trainees do not displace regular employees and work under their close observation;

4. The employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and may actually be impeded;

5. The trainee is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period;

6. The employer and the trainees understand that wages won’t be paid during the time of training.

Young people are reluctant to discuss details of their internships for fear of being known as troublemakers.

As colleges are accepting more moderate- and low-income students to increase economic mobility, many fear that the growth in unpaid internships favors well-to-do and well-connected students, advancing their careers at the expense of those who can’t afford to work in unpaid internships.  via NYTimes

Reading Making It to the Masthead, details the positive intern experience of a young reporter for a Florida newspaper. It’s a good look at a young job seeker, writing her blog, her Twitter feed and all the packaging a young person does today, to get a job.