Unpaid Interns: Don’t Fear Retaliation

Few know that there are powerful laws that protect people who assert their right to get paid for their illegally unpaid internships.

Federal law protects employees from retaliation when they ask to get paid for their illegally unpaid internship. It is a violation of federal law for any employer to retaliate against an employee by discharging or in any other manner discriminating against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint, caused to be instituted any proceeding, or testified about a perceived violation.

Employees are protected regardless of whether the complaint is made orally or in writing.?Employers that discriminate or retaliate against an employee who files an FLSA complaint or participates in resulting proceedings are liable for fines, damages, attorney’s fees and, in the case of willful violations, liquidated damages (an amount equal to the improperly withheld wages).

In addition to federal protections, many states have additional more comprehensive protections against retaliation.

Under New York law, for example, no employer can discharge, threaten, penalize, or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against any employee because an employee has made a complaint to his or her employer that the employer has engaged in conduct that the employee reasonably believes violates New York labor laws. If an employer does retaliate a judge may order all appropriate relief, including ordering payment of liquidated damages, costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees to the employee. Liquidated damages can be as much as $10,000.?The court can also order reinstatement of the employee to his or her former position or an award of front pay in lieu of reinstatement.

The US Department of Labors fact sheet on prohibited?retaliation?can be found at?www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs77a.pdf

The NY Department of Labors fact sheets about prohibited retaliation can be found at?www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/P715.pdf and www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/P706.pdf.

“Internship Hall of Shame”

Want to be a baseball player. Then start with an unpaid internship!!!
Gain experience while you celebrate the career of some of the wealthiest athletes!!!

Hall of Fame Induction Intern – Cincinnati Reds (Cincinnati, OH)

Department: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
Job Title: Hall of Fame Induction Intern
Term: Spring / Summer 2012
Job Purpose: Assist the Hall of Fame’s Special Projects Coordinator with the planning and execution of events, including coordinating activities for the Hall of Fame Induction weekend.
-Adhere to Cincinnati Reds Organization Policies and Procedures
-Act as a role model within and outside the Cincinnati Reds Organization
-Performs duties as workload necessitates

-Demonstrate flexible and efficient time management and ability to prioritize workload
-Meet Department productivity standards

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
-Organizing player meet and greets at the Hall of Fame-Creating and managing the distribution of VIP Suite tickets to games during Induction Weekend
-Arranging travel accommodations for returning Hall of Famers
-Creating and securing items for a silent and live auction held during the Gala
-Creating seating diagrams for the 2012 Induction Gala
-Assisting with sponsorship fulfillment related to Induction Weekend
-Assisting with staffing schedules for Induction Weekend Events
-Serving as an escort to returning Hall of Famers and their families
-Solicit ticket purchasers and sponsors for the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Gala which includes placing phone calls or sending emails/collateral to prospective buyers/sponsors
-Respond to 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Gala phone inquiries

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

-Flexible schedule and willingness to commit 30-40 hours per week
-Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills are required
-Ability to complete a variety of tasks and projects in a timely and well-organized manner
-Strong organizational skills
-Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Applications, specifically Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook is preferred

Please Note: This is an unpaid internship, with the opportunity to earn college credit.