Patterico's Pontifications


Colleges Worried About Intern Rules

Filed under: Education,Obama — DRJ @ 5:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Colleges administrators are worried that the Obama Administration plans to crack down on unpaid internships:

“A group of university presidents and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expressing alarm over what they fear could be a coming crackdown by the Obama administration Labor Department on popular student internship programs.

The Labor Department insists it has no plans to change the long-standing regulations on internships, but many educators and college officials say they fear a new regulatory push by the federal government and by a number of states will lead employers to simply drop their internship programs, seen by generations of college students and recent graduates as a key steppingstone into the work force.
Nancy J. Leppink, deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, told the New York Times last month, “If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law.”

Drake’s Mr. Maxwell was one of 13 university presidents who signed a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, warning that the department’s recent enforcement actions and public statements “could significantly erode employers’ willingness to provide valuable and sought-after opportunities for American college students.”

I can understand why colleges fear losing internships. Internships can be a bridge to future jobs since students who have participated in internships are more likely to get job offers. In addition, students working as interns may also count as employed in some college employment statistics.

Last month, Hot Air noted inconsistencies in the Obama Administration’s announcements on interns, especially since the rules adversely impact private sector internships. Is the Obama Administration using labor rules to push students into non-profit and government internships and away from private sector employment?


10 Responses to “Colleges Worried About Intern Rules”

  1. The unpaid internship should be abolished. What? They can’t pay MINIMUM WAGE? Please.

    And yes, I know all the arguments in favor. (Insert snore sounds here.) The intern “system” is abuse, pure and simple.

    Who can we abuse now? Let’s hire them next year!

    viktor (55441e)

  2. I understand that view but shouldn’t internships also be abolished for government and non-profit employers? My question is why is the White House making a distinction between private sector interns and public/non-profit interns?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  3. My question is why is the White House making a distinction between private sector interns and public/non-profit interns?

    Comment by DRJ — 5/31/2010 @ 7:16 pm

    Because corporations are evil profit mongers, and Obama’s government is the Source of All Beneficence. These interns should be thanking Obama for the opportunity to work unpaid.

    no one you know (14208b)

  4. I did an unpaid internship for my congressman one summer during college. He didn’t offer any paid summer positions to my knowledge.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  5. The Obama administration does not consider private sector jobs real unless they are unionized.

    Mike K (82f374)

  6. Just another step in steering everyone to work for the guvmint.

    Icy Texan (9b386f)

  7. During the Great Depression, my grandfather did an unpaid “internship” with the Southern Pacific railroad, hoping to get hired to support himself and his young family.

    He worked six months as a gandydancer at no pay, living on credit from a local general store and sleeping with the rest of the gang in the engine roundhouse, while my grandmother and uncle lived with her parents back on the farm.

    I fear we are headed for those days again, and relatively soon, in spite of the “rules” the gubmint wants to impose.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  8. No, no, you have it all wrong. See, internships are a way to get out of the classroom and get real world experience. Experience, according to the internship philosophy, matters. So needless to say the noob in chief considers it an anathema to all he believes in.

    Btw, i heard Nubious Maximus (our president) plans to create an intern czar. So far, the leading contender for the position is Bill Clinton.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  9. #8-I understand that Bill Clinton handles interns really well (I just couldn’t resist.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  10. If interns are getting screwed by not being paid,is it prostitution if the are paid and screw the boss?

    clyde (be8255)

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