Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Condé Nast Calling Quits On Internships

After two former interns sued Condé Nast for paying them lower than minimum wage, the publisher is now calling quits on their internship program.

Starting in 2014, Condé Nast will no longer run an internship program (this will not affect their current interns). Lauren Ballinger (an intern at W in '09) and Matthew Leib (an intern at The New Yorker in '09 and '10) are the latest to sue a publication over violating minimum wage and overtime laws. Just to be clear, many companies have internship programs that do not pay their interns as long as they can provide school credit - others, pay interns a minimum wage in exchange for learning/contributing to their job.  

Personally, I'm all for internships as long as the student is learning (paid or not paid). We've all heard stories where interns are used and abused - getting coffee for the office is usually their number one priority for the day. But as of late, many interns are used for menial tasks such as photocopying, running errands, cleaning, organizing and any other task that a normal paid person on the job doesn't do in the first place. When did this start happening? If interns were "hired" to do what they were supposed to, I think a lot of these cases would never have gone to court in the first place. It's sad that many companies are forgoing their internship programs because "bosses" have taken advantage of eager students.

What do you think? Is Condé Nast doing the right thing by closing their internship program? Or do you think they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater?