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[liberationtech] Internships available at leading Palo Alto tech startup

Griffin Boyce griffinboyce at gmail.com
Fri Feb 22 20:40:26 PST 2013


Leigh Honeywell <leigh at hypatia.ca> wrote:

> Unpaid internships are illegal and discriminatory.  In terms of "white
> collar" labour practices, few things piss me off quite so much.
>
> I'm not a lawyer, but the California Department of Industrial Relations,
> Division of Labor Enforcement is pretty clear about what companies are
> allowed to use unpaid interns for
>

  I don't have a problem with nonprofits having small part-time unpaid
internships.  These are effectively volunteer positions, and everyone goes
into it with their eyes open.  No one expects 40+ hours a week from an
intern at a non-profit.  It's a labor of love on both sides.

  I have a serious problem with a tech company that decides to *stop
paying* for
interns, who are expected to work 40-50 hours a week (or more).  And let's
get one thing straight. It's not *just* unpaid.  These interns are paying
for the privilege of working for a company who does not value their time,
and they are spending both time and money to compete for these
already-unpaid positions.

  At 28, it's been repeatedly suggested that I give in and take an unpaid
internship at a large company. Completely ludicrous.  I'm happy to work
with a non-profit that is making a difference in AIDS.  But I'm not going
to work for a company who is making a profit from my work but can't find it
in themselves to pay me.

  The unpaid internship "bubble" for Fortune 500 companies should have
burst five years ago.  Not only is it bad business practice, it's unfair to
the interns who are put in that position.

~Griffin
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