The Death Of Unpaid Internships: What It Really Means For Workers

young man carrying tray of coffee cupsIn the first ruling of its kind, a judge decided last week that two unpaid interns at Fox Searchlight were legally employees, and should have been paid. What does this mean for the future of the unpaid internship? Will it go the way of child labor, and become a relic of a less enlightened time? And if it does, will there be fewer internships altogether, depriving countless young people of all the goodness they provide?

These are the questions chewed on in the June 21 edition of "Lunchtime Live," AOL Jobs' live weekly video series. The two guests were Sally Abrahamson, one of the attorneys who represented the two unpaid Fox interns in their lawsuit, and AOL Jobs contributor Lauren Berger, a veteran of 15 unpaid internships, who now runs the internship resource site Intern Queen.

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Abrahamson broke down the implications of the landmark ruling: "The Fox ruling really makes it clear that just because a student gets credit at their college doesn't relieve the corporation from their responsibility to pay their intern, if they're not providing the robust required training programs pursuant to the law."

Is this really the end of the unpaid internship? Will we see the triumphant return of the entry-level job? Who wins, and who loses? Watch the edited video below. (You also can watch the full version here).

Lunchtime Live -- Is The Unpaid Internship Dead?


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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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