Unpaid internships deepen inequality, accelerate the racial wealth gap and ensure unequal representation in our professional world.

Each year, an estimated 2,000,000 people intern in the U.S. Amongst those, just 6-8% of Black and Latino students have paid internships compared to 74% of their white peers.

While the Department of Labor has called for raising the minimum wage to reduce racial income gaps and has invested in apprenticeship programs as a job training strategy, they continue the practice of unpaid internships in their own department.

We call on the Department of Labor to:

  • Reverse Trump-era rules that made it easier for for-profit employers to employ unpaid interns;

  • Collect data on internships, which are largely unaccounted for and unregulated;

  • Pay interns at the Department of Labor at least $15 an hour;

  • Establish an Internship Task Force, similar to the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship, that can study and prevent exploitive internship practices

Today, an estimated 80% of students work their way through college. And it’s estimated that an internship costs each student around $6,000 in housing, food and transportation costs. That puts unpaid internships out of reach for millions of young people.

Upon graduation, students with paid internships receive 50% more job offers than those who had either an unpaid internship or no internships at all. Sign the petition to the Department of Labor to protect students from worker exploitation and to make internships and our economy more accessible to working families and people of color.

To: The Department of Labor
To create a more equitable workforce, more diverse leadership and a more just world, the Department of Labor must crack down on unpaid internships.

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Washington, DC