So I'm bumping today's planned post to link this article on The New York Times.
“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,” said Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the department’s wage and hour division.
Ms. Leppink said many employers failed to pay even though their internships did not comply with the six federal legal criteria that must be satisfied for internships to be unpaid. Among those criteria are that the internship should be similar to the training given in a vocational school or academic institution, that the intern does not displace regular paid workers and that the employer “derives no immediate advantage” from the intern’s activities — in other words, it’s largely a benevolent contribution to the intern.
Like most studios we get a lot of requests for "internships".
Many companies take this as shorthand for "free menial labor with the possibility of free advanced labor."
People justify these positions as "providing opportunity" and "making career connections". They may very well do that, but they also qualify as "slavery" and "against the law".