Labor: The perils of using unpaid interns

Free labor may end up costing your company dearly

As the summer approaches, many companies look to enlist unpaid interns as a means of evaluating potential future talent. Given the current economic climate, many students are hungry for real-world experience—even if it means a summer without pay. However, the use of unpaid interns is only allowed in certain, limited circumstances and the consequences of misclassifying interns can be costly.

For example, an unpaid intern recently sued PBS host Charlie Rose and his production company, alleging that she was not paid for the work she did. The lawsuit claims that the intern worked 25 hours per week for the show, but did not receive any training and was required to perform work without receiving pay.

Contributing Author

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Jeremy Hawpe

Jeremy W. Hawpe advises and represents employers in the health care, insurance, staffing, and transportation industries in a broad range of employment law matters. He...

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