The U.S. Federal Labor Standards Act states that anyone who is “suffered or permitted” to work deserves just compensation. Yet, in many industries, young professionals starting out in their field are expected to take unpaid internships to get their careers started. In 2013, a federal judge in New York ruled that unpaid interns on the set of the Fox Searchlight movie The Black Swan were, in fact, employees and were entitled to minimum wage. Even though that ruling caused many employers to start paying their interns, unpaid internships continue, particularly in competitive fields such as journalism. Astead Herndon works — in a paid capacity — as a National Politics reporter for the Boston Globe, and he points out that there’s an equity dimension to this issue as well. Astead Herndon joins 8 O’Clock Buzz host Brian Standing by phone.
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