Is Paying Interns Bad for Business? DIY U Author Anya Kamenetz Debates Fox’s John Stossel
Posted May 07 2010 12:16pm
The Fox Business Channel’s John Stossel believes interns don’t have to be paid because they’re getting something of value out of the deal: job experience, college credits, and the possibility of a paying job after college. Anya Kamenetz thinks that in cases where people are being asked to do real work contributing to a commercial enterprise, minimum wage laws clearly should apply. “The Economic Policy Institute released a report last month arguing that unpaid internships may supplant waged jobs, that they create an unequal playing field by favoring students who can afford to work for free, and that they leave interns legally unprotected from discrimination and harassment,” said Kamenetz in her article on The Huffington Post.
Anya Kamenetz: You know, we have minimum wage laws in this country for a really good reason. We’ve had them to avoid exploitation, like child labor, we’ve had them to avoid safety problems. There’s a reason that there’s a Fair Labor Standards Act. What the government is saying now is that this whole activity of internships has grown up in the shadows without there being much government oversight or regulation.