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(Time)   Slaves, unhappy about work conditions, begin to sue overseers   (moneyland.time.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Fair Labor Standards Act, jewellery designer, Association of Colleges, permanent residency, Fox Searchlight, Time Inc., Hearst Newspapers, production assistant  
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5515 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 May 2012 at 10:01 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-06 08:01:07 AM  
A friend was fired from his editorial position at a local paper last year, part of a purge of the majority of the editorial staff. They were "replaced" by a team of five unpaid interns.

He didn't sue (he got a new job at a better company less than two weeks after getting the boot), but he has rather enjoyed seeing the paper lose over half their advertisers and forced to reduce page count by nearly half since the purge.

Unpaid, inexperienced and only around for a semester = not a successful plan to run a newspaper.
 
2012-05-06 09:02:42 AM  
TFA: In August 2011, when Diana Wang began her seventh unpaid internship

Well, there's your problem.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-05-06 09:05:15 AM  
The article gave me the impression she was working there mainly so she could sue them later.
 
2012-05-06 09:43:41 AM  
"Fine. We'll kill the intern program. We don't need the headache."

Everyone gets screwed.
 
2012-05-06 09:44:45 AM  

ZAZ: The article gave me the impression she was working there mainly so she could sue them later.


Perhaps, but if the allegations that she was working for 55 hrs a week without compensation are true then I'd say give her the money.
 
2012-05-06 09:55:06 AM  

Dinobot: ZAZ: The article gave me the impression she was working there mainly so she could sue them later.

Perhaps, but if the allegations that she was working for 55 hrs a week without compensation are true then I'd say give her the money.


Why? It's not like she had anything better to do. On the other hand, loading her down with heavy packages and sending her trudging around Manhattan like a mule is entertainment I would pay for, so maybe they do owe her something. As long as the packages were heavy enough to make her stoop. How much does a street clown make in NYC these days?
 
2012-05-06 10:13:39 AM  

Dancin_In_Anson: TFA: In August 2011, when Diana Wang began her seventh unpaid internship

Well, there's your problem.


Exactly, she should go on welfare or claim disability.
 
2012-05-06 10:14:27 AM  

Earguy: "Fine. We'll kill the intern program. We don't need the headache."

Everyone gets screwed.


Aside from the people who actually get paying jobs when they have to start paying people to do the jobs they no longer have slave labor for, of course.
 
2012-05-06 10:19:18 AM  

rumpelstiltskin: Dinobot: ZAZ: The article gave me the impression she was working there mainly so she could sue them later.

Perhaps, but if the allegations that she was working for 55 hrs a week without compensation are true then I'd say give her the money.

Why? It's not like she had anything better to do. On the other hand, loading her down with heavy packages and sending her trudging around Manhattan like a mule is entertainment I would pay for, so maybe they do owe her something. As long as the packages were heavy enough to make her stoop. How much does a street clown make in NYC these days?


Federal law sets out a six point test for whether an unpaid internship is proper. If it doesn't meet any of these points, then it is illegal:
1. The internship is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment;
2. The internship is for the benefit of the intern;
3. The intern does not displace regular employees;
4. The employer derives no immediate advantage from the intern;
5. The intern is not entitled to a job at the end of the internship; and
6. The intern understands that he or she is not entitled to wages.

Somehow I think forcing someone to work 55 hours a week managing other interns, coordinating deliveries, filing expense reports, and trudging around Manhattan delivering things both displaces the job of a regular employee (3), and provides immediate advantage to the employer (4).

What Harpers had her do was the job of production assistant, from the sound of it. A job that should pay money for hard work.
 
2012-05-06 10:22:31 AM  

Free Radical: Exactly, she should go on welfare or claim disability.


Or go get a paid job elsewhere. Not everyone needs to be Julia.
 
2012-05-06 10:24:21 AM  
You knew going in that it's an unpaid internship, right? No one tricked you or fooled you into thinking you were going to be a full-time paid employee and then pulled a switcheroo, right? No one twisted your arm and forced you to sign up, right? You did this of your own free will, knowing ahead of time what the conditions were, right?

If so, then you got exactly what was promised. Why the whining?
 
2012-05-06 10:25:28 AM  

Dancin_In_Anson: TFA: In August 2011, when Diana Wang began her seventh unpaid internship

Well, there's your problem.


Having rich parents can be a disadvantage some times.
 
2012-05-06 10:33:07 AM  

GilRuiz1: You knew going in that it's an unpaid internship, right? No one tricked you or fooled you into thinking you were going to be a full-time paid employee and then pulled a switcheroo, right? No one twisted your arm and forced you to sign up, right? You did this of your own free will, knowing ahead of time what the conditions were, right?

If so, then you got exactly what was promised. Why the whining?


Actually, if you RTFA, you'd see that the company actually had them do the work of a full-time paid employee (in her case, production assistant), but called it an "unpaid internship" so that they wouldn't have to pay. People whine because stuff like that is illegal; if a company needs a new employee but doesn't want to increase payroll, they can't just slap the label of "intern" onto the position and hire someone for free.
 
2012-05-06 10:35:52 AM  
I blame the unions.
 
2012-05-06 10:38:20 AM  

GilRuiz1: You did this of your own free will, knowing ahead of time what the conditions were, right?


I know it's not the hip cool thing to do but sometimes actually RTFA can be quite enlightening.
 
2012-05-06 10:43:56 AM  

Rincewind53: they can't just slap the label of "intern" onto the position


But Clinton!
 
2012-05-06 10:46:08 AM  

Earguy: "Fine. We'll kill the intern program. We don't need the headache."

Everyone gets screwed.


Except thenpeople they have to hire to do that work.
 
2012-05-06 10:48:18 AM  
According to federal law it certainly seems like the unpaid part of the internship was flat out illegal.

This isn't really a hard concept:

Morally if you employ someone, and they provide economic value to you, they should be paid. Period.

If you have a program that offers specific training with the intent of identifying people to take a real job at the end, and the training is simulated (not providing economic value to the company), then it's ok not to pay them.
 
2012-05-06 10:53:11 AM  

aneki: and the training is simulated (not providing economic value to the company)


It's okay if there's value to the employer, so long as the value for the intern is greater than the value for the employer. The employer is providing a service to the intern, not the other way around.
 
2012-05-06 11:00:59 AM  
All I can say is, it's about time. An intern to me should be a person that observes and does nothing but observing the day to day business activiities. If it is a paid internship, then the job duties should be very light and involve production.
 
2012-05-06 11:19:36 AM  
My interns are entry level workers. They are expected to complete the same training as anyone else, and to be at least somewhat productive in the latter part of their engagement. That is why I pay them. If you work, you should get paid. If you aren't getting paid, leave.
 
2012-05-06 11:23:48 AM  

Dancin_In_Anson: TFA: In August 2011, when Diana Wang began her seventh unpaid internship

Well, there's your problem.


I know! She's trying to pull herself by her bootstraps. See, this is what that actually looks like you out of touch moron.
 
2012-05-06 11:37:01 AM  
If only people could devise a system of advanced employment strategies. Like an Apprenticeship, Journeyman and Master progression at some "Craft". Something tested by time through the ages. Maybe even representing their own interests in "Guilds" or "Unions" to advance their proficiency and prosperity...
nahh, it could never happen
 
2012-05-06 11:42:27 AM  

t3knomanser: aneki: and the training is simulated (not providing economic value to the company)

It's okay if there's value to the employer, so long as the value for the intern is greater than the value for the employer. The employer is providing a service to the intern, not the other way around.


You seem really comfortable just making things up that aren't true. Did you do an internship for that?
 
2012-05-06 11:42:44 AM  
Wonder how much further ahead she would be if she would have worked at even McDonalds for the length of time equal to all her unpaid internships?
 
2012-05-06 11:50:52 AM  
Maybe some of you with intern experience can answer this for me. If a student is receiving academic credit for the internship did they have to pay tuition and fees to their school, like a regular course? Also, if, like the case in the article seems to hint the company decides to pile on hours and responsibilities, if the intern quits, would she "fail" or incomplete the internship and lose the money she paid to the school or have their GPA suffer. Basically, can the company extort her into not quitting and doing whatever they want?
 
2012-05-06 11:56:05 AM  

quickdraw: GilRuiz1: You did this of your own free will, knowing ahead of time what the conditions were, right?

I know it's not the hip cool thing to do but sometimes actually RTFA can be quite enlightening.



R'ing TFA is for the weak. I place my trust exclusively in Subby's headline.
 
2012-05-06 12:02:11 PM  

Tigger: You seem really comfortable just making things up that aren't true.


No, the statement is pretty true. Let's refer back to the federal guidelines quoted up-thread. Since you're obviously a retard, I'll highlight the relevant ones.

Rincewind53: 1. The internship is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment;
2. The internship is for the benefit of the intern;
3. The intern does not displace regular employees;
4. The employer derives no immediate advantage from the intern;

5. The intern is not entitled to a job at the end of the internship; and
6. The intern understands that he or she is not entitled to wages.


Yes, four out of six of them describe, in various ways, that an employer is providing a service to an intern, and not using that intern as a replacement for an actual employee. The purpose of unpaid internships is training, and employers provide that as a service on speculation- they expect a) that this person will be a potential employee, and thus be someone that they've already trained, cutting the startup time, b) that this person will remember the internship well and find value in it, increasing the company's brand, especially in the realm of hiring, c) it's a way to test the company's own internal training and find ways to improve it, d) it forges closer relationships with educational institutions that will provide the next crop of employees.

If you are taking on interns, and that isn't the reason, then you shouldn't be taking on interns.
 
2012-05-06 12:02:24 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: Free Radical: Exactly, she should go on welfare or claim disability.

Or go get a paid job elsewhere. Not everyone needs to be Julia.


How could I have guessed that the "Julia" thing would be a jimmy-rustler for you?
 
2012-05-06 12:07:46 PM  
I've had two unpaid internships but neither lasted longer than 4 months, so I still lack that critical "3-5 years minimum experience" needed to get my foot in the door.
 
2012-05-06 12:54:05 PM  
Congrats to the execs for watching that bottom line. Increasing headcount and decreasing labor budget at the same time is quite an accomplishment.

Maybe we can shoot that up a couple of levels.
 
2012-05-06 12:55:01 PM  

raerae1980: I've had two unpaid internships but neither lasted longer than 4 months, so I still lack that critical "3-5 years minimum experience" needed to get my foot in the door.


Oh,they didn't tell you?

We don't consider internships to be relevant experience.
 
2012-05-06 01:09:58 PM  
Arts majors' problems. Better than workin' at Starbucks, y'all.
 
2012-05-06 01:16:58 PM  

Another Government Employee: raerae1980: I've had two unpaid internships but neither lasted longer than 4 months, so I still lack that critical "3-5 years minimum experience" needed to get my foot in the door.

Oh,they didn't tell you?

We don't consider internships to be relevant experience.


Old people shouldn't retire ever, it's losing experience. What happens in 30 years when no one has any experience because the old people are all dead? Relax immigration laws and bring in a bunch of Chinese. They'll show us for wanting them to pay taxes.
 
2012-05-06 01:31:19 PM  

eventhelosers: Wonder how much further ahead she would be if she would have worked at even McDonalds for the length of time equal to all her unpaid internships?


She would have a resume with McDonalds on it and all the minimum wage she could save.
 
2012-05-06 01:37:24 PM  

AnEvilGuest: eventhelosers: Wonder how much further ahead she would be if she would have worked at even McDonalds for the length of time equal to all her unpaid internships?

She would have a resume with McDonalds on it and all the minimum wage she could save.


Yep. Same problem I have. Worked all through school selling books (retail). So, what job do I get fresh out of grad school? Selling books in a museum store.
 
2012-05-06 01:46:55 PM  
So your resume, achievements, and time as an intern didn't make you stand out enough to get in at the business? It's more a statement on you then the system.
 
2012-05-06 01:57:58 PM  
I took one internship that paid a stipend of about $100 every two weeks and housing. I was pretty hungry by the end, but I wound up being able to get a short term job out of it. A 6 month seasonal position. Other than that, it was a complete waste and I don't recommend interning to anyone that can't be guaranteed a permanent full time position afterwards. Unless it's required by your college, I suppose. But those just kind of suck because you still have to attend classes, find money to eat, and pay for an internship somewhere that will eat all of your hours that you should be spending attending classes and making money to eat.
 
2012-05-06 02:04:45 PM  

AnEvilGuest: eventhelosers: Wonder how much further ahead she would be if she would have worked at even McDonalds for the length of time equal to all her unpaid internships?

She would have a resume with McDonalds on it and all the minimum wage she could save.


McDonalds isn't a minimum wage job. Where have you been the last decade? Their hourly grunt pay is around $8.30 an hour last time I checked and even in the midwest where I live if you work as a closer it's usually around $10-$12 / hr. :)

/Plus the great thing about restaurant work is that you'll never go hungry.
 
2012-05-06 02:05:21 PM  

Dinobot: ZAZ: The article gave me the impression she was working there mainly so she could sue them later.

Perhaps, but if the allegations that she was working for 55 hrs a week without compensation are true then I'd say give her the money.


That's the best point, there is no way I would work that many hours and not get paid a dime, I worked my fair share of entry level jobs and it sounds like these jobs were all entry level.
 
2012-05-06 02:08:05 PM  
What I find ironic is that almost all these companies would be labled as Democrat leaning but I guess they have no problem farking over the 1% as well.
 
2012-05-06 02:10:57 PM  
Unpaid internships are generally an atrocious thing, but they only exist because these little idiots are willing to whore themselves out for no money, so it is hard to feel bad about someone who let themselves get taken advantage of.
 
2012-05-06 02:12:09 PM  
She's well on her way to contract limbo employment, it sounds like she likes being taken advantage of.
 
2012-05-06 02:21:34 PM  

Man On A Mission: A friend was fired from his editorial position at a local paper last year, part of a purge of the majority of the editorial staff. They were "replaced" by a team of five unpaid interns.

He didn't sue (he got a new job at a better company less than two weeks after getting the boot), but he has rather enjoyed seeing the paper lose over half their advertisers and forced to reduce page count by nearly half since the purge.

Unpaid, inexperienced and only around for a semester = not a successful plan to run a newspaper.


Your friend doesn't have to sue - simply contact the Department of Labor, as they're probably breaking the law.
 
2012-05-06 02:22:48 PM  
Unpaid internships are generally an atrocious thing, but they only exist because these little idiots are willing to whore themselves out for no money, so it is hard to feel bad about someone who let themselves get taken advantage of.

Internships were designed to be on-the-job training (see the list of federal requirements above) where the intern got experience and the lack of pay was balanced out by the lack of tuition costs. Now internships are primarily a way to get entry level workers for free - to be thrown away when they use up their savings and can't develop the ability to live without food or shelter.
 
2012-05-06 02:24:04 PM  

lilplatinum: Unpaid internships are generally an atrocious thing, but they only exist because these little idiots are willing to whore themselves out for no money, so it is hard to feel bad about someone who let themselves get taken advantage of.


Interns used to be used for hands of paid people, now they are used as those positions but never paid, I got yelled at by a competitor for paying people in jobs they use interns.

Some people are scuzbags.
 
2012-05-06 02:25:44 PM  

gadian: I took one internship that paid a stipend of about $100 every two weeks and housing. I was pretty hungry by the end, but I wound up being able to get a short term job out of it. A 6 month seasonal position. Other than that, it was a complete waste and I don't recommend interning to anyone that can't be guaranteed a permanent full time position afterwards. Unless it's required by your college, I suppose. But those just kind of suck because you still have to attend classes, find money to eat, and pay for an internship somewhere that will eat all of your hours that you should be spending attending classes and making money to eat.


The fun part is realizing that colleges & businesses often work together to arrange such unpaid labor in return for a bit of quid pro quo - for example, a college requires internship to pass a specific course, and a large business in the same area as the college naturally offers an unpaid internship program, in which the students are treated as indentured servants, pimped by the college for the benefit of the business. The college gets an honorarium, the business gets unpaid labor, and the student gets bubkis. Even better, students who often take internships and endure the stick of indentured servitued for the carrot of a job offer often get screwed.
 
2012-05-06 02:26:58 PM  
In other news, the NCAA is laughing its ass off.
 
2012-05-06 02:31:46 PM  
Why does all of these giant companies don't think they need to pay their interns. I worked as an engineering intern at an aluminum smelter and was paid $18.75 per hour. You would think wall street could afford that.
 
2012-05-06 02:38:52 PM  

mkmcco03: Why does all of these giant companies don't think they need to pay their interns. I worked as an engineering intern at an aluminum smelter and was paid $18.75 per hour. You would think wall street could afford that.


Its not a question of being able to afford it, its simply a function of an overabundance of trustafarians who will let themselves be exploited.
 
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