Although federal law allows businesses to hire interns for educational purposes, the government provides strict guidelines the company must follow in Wisconsin and across the nation. The purpose of hiring interns is to mostly benefit the intern and help them learn the ropes of the business. As several groups of unpaid interns have filed lawsuits fighting for employee rights, they claim that they worked at menial jobs that didn't meet those qualifications. Advocates for the rights of these workers have stated the employees were taken advantage of by businesses who just wanted to save money.
The negative information about internships can overlook some of these benefits. Interns receive valuable training while at the business with hands-on experience that they might not have received otherwise. When trying to decide if an internship is a good fit, students should consider job possibilities and if the field where they train is work they want to eventually do.
Interns sometimes pass up other job opportunities to work for their employer for little, if any, compensation. A worker's compensation lawyer might be able to advocate on the behalf of clients who believe they have been cheated out of fair compensation.
Source: Mainstreet.com, "Are Unpaid Internships Mere Exploitation?", Eric Reed, July 03, 2013