THE END OF THE ERA OF UNPAID INTERNSHIPS
The Intern Labor Rights working group of Arts & Labor aims to draw attention to and bring an end to the exploitation of unpaid laborers in the arts economy. From our collective experience as interns and professionals working in cultural institutions we know that many unpaid internships do not meet U.S. Department of Labor criteria for exemption from Fair Labor Standards Act requirements, including those mandating the payment of minimum wages. Business owners and shareholders are thus profiting from the uncompensated labor of others, a violation of basic worker rights and a contributor to income and wealth inequality.
AREAS OF FOCUS
• Alerting interns to their ethical and legal rights
• Calling for job boards to cease advertising unpaid internships at for-profit institutions
• Pressuring arts & culture institutions to pay all workers for their labor
• Calling for colleges to cease supporting the practice by granting credit for unpaid internships at for-profit institutions
• Assisting unpaid interns who believe they may be legally entitled to backpay
• Shifting the perception of internship rights within the culture at large
Intern Labor Rights meets every Wednesday at 7pm, except on the last Wednesday of each month. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 18, 2012: Arts & Labor #OWS Calls for an End to Classified Listings for Unpaid Internships at For-Profit Businesses
April 25, 2012: Arts & Labor #OWS Releases Flyer “Interns! Know Your Rights” for Widespread Distribution