Although the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.5% it is still hard for many college grads to find work. So many grads turn to unpaid internships in the hopes of potential openings at various companies. Recently, Harper’s Bazaar intern, Xuedan Wang filed a class action lawsuit against the fashion publication for violating state and federal wage and hour laws by not paying her when she was doing the work of a paid employee. According to the New York Times, Wang was working 40-55 hours per week.
From the Times:
The lawsuit against Hearst states, “Employers’ failure to compensate interns for their work, and the prevalence of the practice nationwide, curtails opportunities for employment, fosters class divisions between those who can afford to work for no wage and those who cannot, and indirectly contributes to rising unemployment.”
This is a very weird situation since interns are required to receive school credit so how did she end up in this position? Proof of enrollment does narrow the selection internships at major companies but the rules are there for a reason. Unfortunately, unpaid internship seems more and more necessary as entry-level and paid internships are hard to come by. [Fashionista]