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Government clamping down on internships

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Like most recessions, the current one has hit younger folk and lesser experienced folk harder. Typically, companies do not fire more experienced, higher-paid employees in the face of a recession and replace them with cheaper, less experienced workers. Instead, they usually fire and then freeze hiring. It is the younger college graduates that feel the impact of this. The unemployment rate among young folks has risen much higher than among the middle-age. Some young people are trying to get experience by doing unpaid work. they figure that once they have the experience, they will be in better shape to get a paying job.

The NY Times reports that governments of various states are clamping down, fining employees for using unpaid interns. The department of labor has put out guidelines that would make most internships a breach of the minimum-wage laws. In particular, if the internship is not focussed on learning for the intern, but instead is focussed on a benefit for the business, it is in breach of the law. If it can be shown that the work being done by the intern means less work being done by some paid employee, then it is in breach.

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Turns out that internships are not the only target. Even voluntary work may be prevented in this atmosphere of economic-downturn with unions trying to hold on to their high wages derived by force of law.

Here's a story about parents who went to volunteer at an elementary school. They were prevented from doing some of the things because they had not followed the procedure. They were supposed to fill up and get those passed to the unions who can decide to challenge them if the volunteer work might mean less paid work.

Edited by softwareNerd

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