Interns are a hot topic right now: At Bank of America in London, an intern died after working 72 hours straight. Condé Nast recently decided to stop paying interns. Diddy's record label is being sued by a former intern, who claims she was never paid. And Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In organization made waves when they announced they were hiring unpaid interns.
The Bank of America intern, Moritz Erhardt, was a business student who had allegedly worked until 6 AM three nights in a row. In addition to paid analyst and associate internships, BOA offers paid internships for students as young as high school juniors. But at Condé Nast — where interns previously received a small stipend — there's now no pay for the work involved. Sheryl Sandberg made $91 million last week, the same week her Lean In organization was searching for an unpaid intern. And even with the music industry in shambles, you can imagine that Rashida Salaam — who a filed class-action lawsuit today against Bad Boy records, accusing company of violating minimum-wage laws by not paying interns — is not alone in having worked for free while surrounded by folks with million dollar watches. (Diddy himself started his career as an intern at Uptown Records.)