Advice for unpaid interns to sue for back pay

The outcry against unpaid internships continues. The latest is from HuffPost College:

Four Ways You Can Seek Back Pay For An Unpaid Internship

Amid its advice is this:

New York has also taken a stronger stance against internships at nonprofits. Federal rules say unpaid internships in government agencies or nonprofits are “generally permissible,” but New York (PDF) says nonprofits still must pay their interns except under limited circumstances. Namely, certain nonprofits may have unpaid interns enrolled in educational programs, as trainees receiving formal instruction, or as volunteers who do completely different tasks than paid employees. The state has an even stricter 11-part test (PDF) for internships at for-profit companies.

Nonprofits and NGOs: you need to be paying attention to this controversy. You need to be thinking about why any task at your organization that is being done by a volunteer – and that includes unpaid interns – beyond “We don’t have money to pay someone to do that.” You need a mission statement for your volunteer engagement and you need to be talking about the value of volunteers far beyond dollar/Euro or other monetary value for their hours!

My other blogs on this controversy:

Note that the links within these blogs may not work, as I moved all of my blogs from Posterous to WordPress a few months ago, and it broke all of the internal links. Also, some web pages on other organization’s sites have moved since I linked to such, and I either don’t know or haven’t been able to find a new location for the material.

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