Date: 2009-12-22, 8:17PM EST
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
I will personally flag any and all companies seeking unpaid interns. According to the 1947 Supreme Court case of Cohen and Wolf, if a student does any work that benefits an employer (i.e. delivering mail, organizing files, making appointments, writing reports, NORMAL INTERNSHIP ACTIVITIES) they must be paid at least minimum wage or the employer is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This act literally says the internship has to follow this guideline: "The employer that provides the training derives NO immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and, on occasion, the employer’s operations are actually impeded." That's right, in order for an unpaid internship to be legal, the intern must not contribute to the company, but RECEIVE from the company the service of EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE at the company's own expense.
Posting on CraigsList seeking a student intern and describing in that post the various tasks that will be involved in that position, means you are in violation of the law. Any company that can't afford to support a student with 10 bucks an hour obviously isn't a respectable place.
STUDENTS, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! You have to be paid at least minimum wage; it's the law.
Flag all unpaid internship posts!