…Congressional leaders from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Rep. Ayanna Pressley signed on to a letter organized by Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California and activist group Pay Our Interns. The letter calls on the DOL to enact more reporting requirements around unpaid internships and track them, as well as collect data on intern pay. It’s a push to both create greater equity by curbing unpaid positions, and to understand the role that unpaid (and paid) internships play in the economy.
The lawmakers are also calling on the agency to look into ways to more extensively monitor potential unpaid internship violations, and create an awareness campaign on intern rights. The gist of the letter, according to Carlos Mark Vera, the executive director of Pay Our Interns (POI), is “it’s time for them to take a more hands-on role when it comes to the internship economy.”