Mass Exploitation Hidden in Plain Sight: Unpaid Internships and the Culture of Uncompensated Work

16 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2017  

David C. Yamada

Suffolk University Law School

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Although gaining internship experience has become a largely expected rite of passage for those seeking entry into many professions and vocations, until recently the legal implications of unpaid internships remained something of a sleeping giant. In recent years, however, growing attention has been directed to this subject through litigation, legislative advocacy, social activism, and media coverage. This essay, building on my previous scholarship on this topic and written in connection with the Idaho Law Review’s April 2016 symposium on employment issues, will summarize the emergence of the so-called intern economy, examine the two primary legal issues relating to unpaid internships, and discuss several significant, broader policy themes concerning the intersection of internships, education, and the nature of paid employment.

Keywords: Unpaid internships, contingent labor, employment law, labor standards, employment discrimination, higher education

Suggested Citation

Yamada, David C., Mass Exploitation Hidden in Plain Sight: Unpaid Internships and the Culture of Uncompensated Work (2016). Idaho Law Review, Vol. 52, p.937, 2016; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 17-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2905779

David C. Yamada (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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