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Penny Loretto

Are Unpaid Internships Legal?

By January 12, 2013

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This may seem like a loaded question if you have been keeping up with the news about the issue of unpaid internships. Having someone work for no pay just doesn't seem right to many people.  Companies who take advantage of students by having their interns work for free, seem to be cheap at first glance and very short sighted. But the question again is, are unpaid internships legal?

This question is more complicated than it seems.  Of course, as an employee you expect to get paid; but as an intern there seems to be a gray line as to if and when an employer must pay them. The Department of Labor's Internship Guidelines were set forth to address this very complicated question; but as with any legislation, it appears that several of the guidelines are particularly hard to follow.

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