The Truth About Unpaid Internships in California

Are you an unpaid intern who deserves to be paid fair wages? Many California employers take the seemingly less expensive route of hiring “free labor” in the form of unpaid internships, cutting hundreds if not thousands of individuals out of hard-earned paychecks, when in fact, the duties these interns are performing are those of an actual paid employee. These employers are committing wage and hour violations against hard working men and women just like you.

How do you know if your unpaid internship is also unjust, meaning you should be compensated appropriately for the work you are performing? First, know that California law is on your side. In addition to the requirements set forth by the Department of Labor under federal law, California requires that an additional handful of factors be met in order for your Orange County employer to ‘get away with’ not paying you.

The requirements of an unpaid internship according to the Department of Labor: