News – 2017

Here’s a selection of the most important articles in 2017. All articles in bold refer to the Fair Internship Initiative.

  • U.S. Department of Labor clarifies when interns working at for-profit employers are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act – US Department of Labor, 19 December 2017 – “[…]the Department will conform to these appellate court rulings by using the same “primary beneficiary” test that these courts use to determine whether interns are employees under the FLSA.”
  • Wang v. The Hearst Corporation, No. 16-3302 (2d Cir. 2017) – Justa US Law, 08 December 2017 – “Unpaid interns in this case were not “employees” of Hearst for the purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law (NYLL). The Second Circuit applied the “primary beneficiary” test in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. and considered the seven non-exhaustive considerations specific to the context of unpaid internships.
    • Second Circuit Holds that Hearst Interns are not Employees – The National Law Review, 12 December 2017 – “The Second Circuit ultimately agreed with Judge Oetken and focused on the extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to what an individual would receive in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training that academic institutions provide. The court also noted that the internships were generally arranged to fit the academic calendar and required academic credit as a prerequisite.
  • Democratic National Committee To Start Paying Its Interns – Huffington Post, 07 December 2017 – “Under the new system, interns who accept positions will be able to apply for stipends of up to $3,000.
  • Rights, duties of interns are clearly defined under UAE law – Khaleej Times, 19 November 2017 – “The Labour Law refers to the employment of ‘youth’. If the intern falls under the definition of youth, the maximum working hours shall be six hours per day with one-hour rest. They must not work for more than four consecutive hours nor is the employer permitted to retain the worker for more than seven consecutive hours in the workplace.
  • Foreign ministry ignores internship abuses in embassies – The Korea Times, 30 October 2017 –  “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was criticized Monday for its inaction about the abuse of unpaid internships at foreign embassies […] According to Article 28 of the Republic of Korea’s Private International Law, foreign governmental bodies based in Seoul should respect the local Labor Law,” Rep. Lee said. “Such unpaid internship programs are illegal, so the foreign ministry should investigate the practice.“”
  • For the first time, Women Outnumber Men in Senior Posts at a UN Agency – UN Dispatch, 6 October 2017 – “Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that “The team represents 14 countries, including all WHO regions, and is more than 60% women, reflecting my deep-held belief that we need top talent, gender equity and a geographically diverse set of perspectives to fulfill our mission to keep the world safe.””
  • UNICEF starts offering interns stipend – UNICEF – “We encourage offices to pay interns a stipend as a contribution towards living expenses and a one-time
    lump sum as a contribution towards travel and visa costs if applicable, subject to availability of funding .
  • UN human rights bosses face furious backlash over ‘appalling’ unpaid 6 month internships – The Telegraph, 1 September 2017 – “The adverts sparked fury on social media with people labelling the internships a “joke”, “absolutely disgusting” and “appalling”.
  • Tackling aid recruitment’s class problem – Devex, 18 August 2017 – “I think it’s strange that in development we create opportunities to work on poverty, inequality and inclusion, but actually the processes we use to attract staff are not inclusive,” Dr. Rosanna Duncan, Palladium’s new director of diversity and inclusion.”
  • Unpaid internships damage long-term graduate pay prospects – The Guardian, 29 July 2017 – “three-and-a-half years after graduating, former interns face a salary penalty of approximately £3,500, compared with those who went straight into paid work, and £1,500 compared with those who went into further study. Interns who were privately schooled or had parents in professional occupations also found themselves worse off, albeit by not as much.
  • US Embassy, UNHCR exploit interns – The Korea Times, 17 July 2017 – “There should be no exceptions to the employers’ duty to pay for labor, and diplomatic immunity should not be a tool to justify the practice of enthusiasm payment,” Lee said.”
  • Zero-hours contracts affect young people’s heath, study finds – The Guardian, 5 July 2017 – “Young people employed on zero-hours contracts are more likely to have worse mental and physical health than peers with more stable positions, a study has found.
  • Unpaid internships: Complaint launched against Belgium – The Parliament Magazine, 19 May 2017 – “Unpaid internships must be banned once and for all. They are a prime example of inequality, providing opportunities only to those who have the financial means and shutting everyone else out.
  • For an Hour, Khmer Rouge Tribunal Interns Stage Strike Over Pay – 
    The Cambodia Daily, 21 February 2017 – “To this end we demand that internship positions as a minimum pay a subsistence allowance to allow all persons, regardless of socio-economic background, the opportunity to participate thereby making internship schemes a meritocracy,