Wednesday, February 29, 2012

EPI's Ross Eisenbrey slams unpaid internships on Colbert

Last night, Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute appeared on The Colbert Report to explain how unpaid internships are hurting our economy. Take a look:

From the EPI website:

Over the past decade, the illegal use of unpaid interns has exploded with little protest. EPI has been a crucial voice highlighting the inadequate regulation of student internships and has detailed why it is wrong, particularly with respect to for-profit employers not paying interns for their work. Unpaid internships don’t fairly reward hard work, they block economic mobility, and they leave young workers exposed to exploitation.

You might remember my discussion of unpaid internships in Hollywood following the BLACK SWAN intern lawsuit (which Eisenbrey mentioned).

2 comments:

Lisa Hunter said...

When I was a college student, back in the Dark Ages, only non-profits had unpaid internships. It was relatively easy to get minimum wage work at all kinds of entertainment companies for a "foot in the door." It was a much more equitable system, since not everyone can afford to work for free.

Lorin Schneider said...

It's great to see more attention being paid to this issue! As an attorney whose exclusive area of practice is in representing illegally unpaid interns, it's really great that this practice is starting to enter the public discourse as something to look at critically. Somehow it's become the accepted assumption that before we're allowed to work for pay in this country, we have to work for free--when did that happen?? You do work, you get paid. That's what minimum wage laws are all about. And you can't just get around that by calling someone an "unpaid intern."