Look, we’ve all been there at some point during college- when you suddenly realize that your resume contains a lot more white space than it probably should and you resign to hitting that “apply for internship” button as rapidly as a 14-year-old adds Facebook friends.
We can’t all snag paid internships at ESPN or the White House, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle. Better yet, it doesn’t mean we should have to intern for a “business owner” who requires us to work from his bedroom.
According to CBS, this is exactly what happened to a local college student. After replying to an ad, the unsuspecting student found out that the “unpaid marketing internship” required her to make sales calls- directly from the owner’s bedroom. The surprise didn’t end there, though. As it turns out, the man still lived at home with mommy and daddy. Our best guess is his business/delusion was still in “Phase I” at the time.
Still, even non-creepy internships require work that, more often than not, resembles slave labor. Many, including the aforementioned, fail to acknowledge that there are, you know, actual laws regarding your ploy for free work.
Specifically, labor laws do not allow employers to take on unpaid interns for work they do not want to do themselves. The company must also make sure they’re offering productive training of some sort; only paid interns can be hired for “menial tasks,” and the employer must not reap any direct benefits from their work.
Moral of the story: Next time you decide to roam the Internet for resume fodder, make sure you’re not jumping on board a bedroom start-up or things might get a little weird.