Interns across the country are standing up for their rights. They’re mad as heck and they’re not going to take it any more! Corporations and organizations everywhere are pretty much getting free work out of interns and offering very little “hands on” learning in return.
Diddy, Rashida Salaam is coming for you.
Rashida Salaam, 26, of Brownsville, Brooklyn filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan federal court accusing Bad Boy Records of violating minimum-wage laws by not paying interns for work performed.
“I know that I was taken advantage of,” Salaam told the NY Post. “ “I basically wanted to take a stand for all interns who work there …You are supposed to get paid for labor that you do.”
Here’s a list of the duties Salaam and other interns were required to do:
- Get lunch and coffee for paid staffers
- Answering phones
- Gift wrapping presents
- Decorating the firm’s Broadway offices during the holidays
“Past interns told me that they wrapped gifts for Diddy and his kids,” Salaam confided. “… They wrapped gifts for Diddy and decorated his tree at his office. Basically, they are happy to be there. It’s a big company.”
I wish I would wrap someone’s gifts. Unless I’m a gift wrapping intern at Macy’s, what’s the point? I highly doubt Macy’s even has gift-wrapping internships.
“You have the right to make a claim for unpaid wages even if you agreed to be classified as an unpaid intern or trainee,” said Salaam’s lawyer Jeffrey Brown.
“If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the services, then the interns will be treated as employees and are entitled to pay.”
Corporations need to realize that interns are not free labor. Most of these interns are trying to learn something that can benefit them in the long run and are in line with their degree pursuits. Last time I checked, getting coffee and wrapping gifts were not degrees offered at any university.
Take that, Diddy. Give those interns some of that Ciroc money.