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Unpaid Internships

Exploitation of interns has been going on for decades. In recent tough economic times, employers have cut costs by increasing their use of unpaid interns at the expense of paid employees. Employers in the arts, entertainment, media and fashion industries have had little difficulty finding people willing to work for free in order to break into the business.  Many of these internships violate federal and state wage and hour laws.

While a person may volunteer to work for a non-profit organization or a government entity, for-profit companies are not permitted to use unpaid volunteers unless they meet the very stringent requirements for unpaid internships.

Illegal unpaid internships are bad for America for a number of reasons. Employers who exploit free labor use those interns to keep wages low and unemployment rates high by displacing workers.  Moreover, they favor only those with the means to work without pay and exclude people who can’t afford to work for free.  Thanks to a renewed interest in the problem, the days of unpaid internship exploitation may be coming to an end.

If you think you may have worked in an illegal unpaid internship position, contact the Marlborough Law Firm for a free consultation.

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