Unpaid and Underappreciated


Interns often get stuck with the least fulfilling work.
Image: Shutterstock

What is the first thing you plan to do when you get out of college?  It’s a question that many recent grads are facing.  Most will tell you they plan to get a job.  However, that’s not as easy as it sounds.  What ends up happening more often than not is that graduates take internships.  And, many, many of those internships are unpaid.

Unfortunately, when you work at an unpaid internship, it’s easy to feel underappreciated.  You start to get resentful because you recognize the value of your work, but it feels as if nobody else does.  In fact, many interns are nothing more than grunt workers who do the least fulfilling, most boring jobs.  No, this is not always the case, but it can be.

The point is, corporations should pay their interns.  It’s the right thing and the moral thing to do.  One man decided to try to do something to change things.  His name is Eric Glad.

Eric worked as an unpaid intern in the film industry on the film “Black Swan.”  During the process, he started to question the whole notion of an unpaid intern.  He spoke with many others who also worked as unpaid interns and asked what they thought about it.  One girl said she learned so much and had something she could put on her resume.  However, Eric asked her, “Would you have learned less if you were paid?”  It’s an excellent question, because, of course, the answer is no.

Eventually, Eric came to the conclusion that not paying workers is actually illegal.  He said, “This is a lawsuit waiting to happen.  I had all the evidence I needed.  I knew the law was on my side.  By filing a federal case, by filing a class-action case, we actually had the possibility of changing the entire culture around this practice.  Federal court ruled that, in fact, we were employees and we were owed pay.  So, basically this is putting Fox, and all the other studios who think they can get away with not paying wages to their workers when they call them interns, on high alert.”

It almost seems like charity work to be an unpaid intern.  However, things may really be headed for change.  Until then, at least they feed their cast and crew.

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