[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?