Firms sign on to “Intern Bill of Rights” amid ongoing unpaid labor fights

Gigaom

A spate of lawsuits brought by interns in the fashion, entertainment and publishing industries has triggered new debate over whether interns should be paid and how companies should treat them. In the latest development, career site InternMatch has published an “Intern Bill of Rights” that was won the support of corporations like CBS, Viacom and Rosetta.

The proposal calls for employers to provide interns with a formal document that defines their positions and legal standing, and says they “deserve fair compensation for their work, usually in the form of wages and sometimes in the form of dedicated training.” (The full bill and a petition for firms to add their name is here).

According to InternMatch founder, Nathan Parcells, intern exploitation is partly the result of a decline in traditional career fairs where employers were encouraged to develop common employment standards. Today, there is little consensus over how to even define…

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