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November 04, 2007


State Labor Laws

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State Labor Laws

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The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which is the industry association in this field, has come out with their position statement that calls for reform based upon common practices and what is best for all parties. Below are their findings. In addition, they completed a survey where 95% of the participating schools permitted the posting of unpaid internships. I am not endorsing or condemning the current law or this blog, but rather sharing a key organization's opinion.

"Our position statement is framed by the following principles, beliefs, and assumptions:

- Internships provide unique and valuable experiences for students both academically and in professional career preparation.
- The term “internship” encompasses many different program models (i.e. paid and unpaid; full time and part time; of varying length; as a required part of an academic curriculum or as a course option; for academic credit or no credit). The broad use of this term to cover diverse circumstances makes it difficult to apply common and consistent standards, guidelines, and applicable policies.
- Internships exist or can exist in literally every kind of business, industry, organization, and sector—both public and private.
- What constitutes an internship is determined in the final analysis by the student’s college or university and the employer.
- Internship programs should ideally involve a close partnership between the university, the participating student, and the employer in which all accrue some form of benefit.
- The federal and state governments have significant roles in providing and enforcing laws and guidelines to protect the interests of both employers and employees in the workplace.
- Unpaid internships in the not-for-profit sector reflect the fiscal realities and limitations for organizations in that sector and are acknowledged accordingly in current Department of Labor guidelines and enforcement practices.
- All interns, regardless of their compensation, should enjoy similar basic protections in the work setting consistent with all laws, ethical considerations, and sound business practices.

Based on the above principles, beliefs, and assumptions, and the information supplied by our members, NACE’s position statement on the issue of unpaid internships is:

“The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), representing more than 3,000 higher education institutions and employing organizations, recognizes the enormous value of internship programs to individual student participants and both the higher education and employer communities. We believe that the U.S Department of Labor criteria for assessing whether internships in the for-profit sector may be unpaid must be reviewed and further clarified to ensure they account for the incredible diversity of students, higher education institutions, and employing organizations involved in such programs. Further, all interns, regardless of their compensation, should enjoy similar, basic protections in the work setting consistent with all laws, ethical considerations, and sound business practices.”"


U.S. Department of Labor has outlined a list of criteria in Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act - April 2010

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This is useful information for anyone willing to learn something new everyday. An associate wants to have volunteer internships at her establishment and wanted to know how to create a college internship.i will be sure to add it in my bookmarks.
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I created a customer database for a CL poster, a designer. She wanted me, on my own time, to get her name into Social Media/Networking. Took my pay, and said, "No."

I started watching CL, Indeed, and Simply Hired for social media internships. Wow! It seems like everybody wants an intern to create a website, a logo, a blog, Twitter about their brand, get their ads on Facebook. It is huge!

These business owners can't afford to pay what this would cost. They run ads for "interns" to do it for nothing in order to widen their sales market and get their brand/name out there. There is no training here. This is pure exploitation solely for the profit of the business.

I believe this is totally wrong. When these ads appear on CL under "pay," I flag them every time.

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All of the people who slap themselves on the back for helping out students while not paying them have already convinced themselves that they are doing the right thing. They are not, ethically, morally, if not legally. The minimum is greater than zero.

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Current United States Department of Labor interpretations can be found here http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

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