As a university internship coordinator, I frequently see companies providing meaningful internship experiences for our students. Unfortunately, there also are companies who take advantage of the “free” labor of qualified students.
I hope the trend towards PAYING interns continues, as we as educators have created rigorous internship programs and academic curriculum where we prepare students to not only learn and their internships, but to immediately contribute to an organization’s success! As such, they should be compensated accordingly!
Another issue is the economic implications on students. Some students cannot afford NOT to get paid. I.e. if they are paying for their own college tuition and fees, their own living expenses, etc. they can’t afford to take the time away from paid employment to intern. This sets them at a disadvantage when they graduate. ALL qualified students should have the opportunity to intern and gain the valuable and ESSENTIAL experience needed to compete in the job market. Hopefully more employers will recognize the value of utilizing and cultivating future professionals via PAID internships.
All employers should review the Federal Guidelines re. internship payment compliance. Based on these guidelines, MOST, if not ALL interns should receive some sort of compensation. http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm
See NY Times article below re. the lawsuit!
The New York Times
Judge Rules That Movie Studio Should Have Been Paying Interns
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: June 11, 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/business/judge-rules-for-interns-who-sued-fox-searchlight.html?_r=0