The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) has released a position statement on the issue of unpaid internships. If you will remember from this past spring, the issue of unpaid internships blew up nationwide, brought up in national publications like the New York Times and prompting a coalition of university presidents to issue a written response.
NACE President Shawn VanDerziel sent an email to membership highlighting the work done to date by the organization in developing a position statement on this issue. Employer and college members nationwide were surveyed on their practices and thoughts surrounding unpaid internships, and a roundtable was held at the NACE 2010 Annual Conference held in early June.
Based on NACE principles, beliefs, and assumptions along with information from the membership, NACE developed the following position statement:
“The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), representing more than 3,000 higher education institutions and employing organizations, recognizes the enormous value of internship programs to individual student participants and both the higher education and employer communities. We believe that the U.S Department of Labor criteria for assessing whether internships in the for-profit sector may be unpaid must be reviewed and further clarified to ensure they account for the incredible diversity of students, higher education institutions, and employing organizations involved in such programs. Further, all interns, regardless of their compensation, should enjoy similar, basic protections in the work setting consistent with all laws, ethical considerations, and sound business practices.”
NACE will be taking an active role with this issue as it moves forward, including hosting a webinar concerning unpaid internships on July 26 (more details to come). Legal advisers to NACE are also developing a FAQ document to assist us (employers and colleges) as we work with internships.
MACIC will continue to post information and developments as they arise.