Tell President Obama to Pay His Interns!

Would you, my kind readers, help me out?

First, it’s simply unjust to work without pay and, second, it means that only the wealthier students can afford to hold an internship where the contacts and influence acquired will benefit them their entire lives. If the President is serious about wealth inequality, then he should fix the inequity in his own backyard.

That’s why I created a petition to President Barack Obama, which says:

“White House internships should no longer be unpaid. These positions can be applied for by those who are in college or just graduates or military veterans with at least a high school education. Only a handful of this pool can afford to work without salary and so only the wealthy need apply. “

Will you sign my petition? Click here to add your name:


James Pilant

From around the web.

From the web site, Money.CNN.

For employers who rely on unpaid interns, it’s been the summer of reckoning.

Hundreds of interns have filed lawsuits or raised complaints over working long hours for free. But one group of former interns is sidestepping the courtroom and going straight to the White House to fight for fair compensation.

The Fair Pay Campaign, a grassroots lobby set to launch around Labor Day, is calling on President Obama to pay White House interns in order to set an example for other government agencies and private employers.

“We have a minimum wage law in this country, and just because you call someone an intern doesn’t mean you get out of it,” said Mikey Franklin, the leader of Fair Pay’s charge.

From the web site, Minding the Workplace. This blog belongs to my colleague, David Yamada, an expert in the field of workplace bullying.

This summer, countless numbers of students will work in unpaid internships, in many instances for large corporations that could easily afford to pay them. Not only is this widespread practice often in apparent violation of state and federal minimum wage laws, but also it creates barriers to those who want to break into an occupation but who cannot afford to work for free.

Now there’s an emerging movement against unpaid internships (especially in the private sector), and here’s evidence of its coming out party:


Well-publicized legal claims for back pay by unpaid interns have played a significant role in bringing this common practice to public light.

It started last fall with a lawsuit filed by two unpaid interns, Alex Footman and Eric Glatt, who worked on the production of the movie “Black Swan,” alleging that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime rules.

Earlier this year, Xuedan Wang, a former unpaid intern for Harper’s Bazaar, filed a claim against the magazine’s publisher, the Hearst Corporation.