It’s Time to Overhaul Department of Labor Regulations Around Internships

On February 4, 2021, Pay Our Interns sent a letter to the DOL Secretary Designate Marty Walsh ahead of his confirmation hearing. Under the Trump administration, the DOL reversed Obama-era internship guidelines, making it easier for employers to hire unpaid interns. Pay Our Interns’ end goal is not just to return to previous guidelines, but overhaul DOL regulations around internships altogether, beginning with an Internship Task Force to:
  • create reporting requirements, and track industries that utilize unpaid internships;
  • make sure the DOL is paying its own interns (for example, the solicitor’s office is looking for law students to do unpaid work);
  • hold big nonprofits accountable to the same guidelines around unpaid internships as for-profits, and monitor and investigate them for FLSA violations.

Unpaid internships can cost up to $13,000 between food, transportation, housing, and other miscellaneous costs. For low-income students–especially Black, Latinx, and Native students who are already attempting to overcome intergenerational racial wealth gaps–unpaid internships are a barrier to upward economic development.

We’re asking you to 

Take Action To Urge The Department Of Labor To Create An Internship Task Force