Two University of Texas journalism students called me last week hoping to get some experience/clips in exchange for class credit. I had to reluctantly turn them down, and both even countered with the offer to write articles “for free” just to amass a few clips with a reputable publication. I told them that would get me in even more trouble with Uncle Sam. They were really bummed.
I don’t have the official word from my management about the “why.” I suspect, like a lot of employers, it’s too easy to get sued with the relatively new FLSA standards so we’re steering clear of the potential liability. But our relatively few $10 an hour internships are still in effect.
Your company made $6.5 BILLION last year. If corporate doesn’t want to spring for some barely more than minimum wage jobs, that’s hardly something that can be laid at the feet of “new federal regulations.” Sorry you’re losing your unpaid labor. Pay some people a very small amount, if you want them to work for you. You can pay freelancers whatever you want, basically. This isn’t about the feds.
It’s about corporate being cheap, and people who supposedly work for news organizations falling for a line of bullshit.