Fine line: Are employers skirting laws governing interns?
By Caitlin Coakley Summer’s here, which means college students looking for résumé-boosting experience are going to work as interns for Charlotte-area companies. But some labor officials are concerned that the combination of short-staffed businesses looking for free labor and students desperate for an edge in a tough job market may leave interns open for exploitation — especially if they aren’t aware of their rights. “Obviously, when you pick up the paper and read that college graduations are going on and the demand for jobs is diminishing and so forth, kids are more willing to go to work unpaid just for the chance to show some of their abilities,” said Jim Taylor, director for North Carolina Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Bureau. Home in Matthews from North Greenville University, 24-year-old marketing student Doug Wilson has spent the summer interning in the marketing department of athletic training center Velocity Sports Performance. His experience, he raves, has been a great one. “It’s been wonderful. I’ve gotten to do a little bit of everything,” he said.