Unpaid Interns: Employees or Not?

Class Warfare Blog

A recent sexual harassment case in New York hinged on a judge’s interpretation that unpaid interns are not employees because they do not get paid, consequently they are not covered by laws governing the treatment of employees. This is a typical right-wing ploy in that it is all about the benjamins, but it is also wrong.

If an unpaid intern were to damage another’s person or property, do you think that the company’s insurance company would get away with saying “sure they were an intern of the company, but we don’t have to pay off on any claims due to her misconduct because she wasn’t paid.” Not that they wouldn’t try, but I don’t think it would work.

Can just any old employee bring an intern into the company upon his or her own cognizance or does it need to be approved? Is there any paperwork to be filled out?…

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