reported my unfair internship
Posted by forlogos on August 12, 2007
I don’t know how it goes for other states, but here is how reporting goes for New York:
- It’s best to call so they can get the info from you that they need right away, rather than going through an email exchange.
- You can’t really be anonymous. I can’t remember if you can’t or if it just wasn’t preferred. Anyway, they prefer that you provide your contact information so that they could ask you for more information, in case they need more from when you reported it.
- They only get your contact info if they need to contact you. You will not be mentioned in the investigation in any way and your privacy is protected.
- The info provided will be given to an investigator who will check the info. If needed, they will then investigate. One of the things they will do is to give a surprise visit to the company in question (they ask for suggestions of when to best do this).
- The investigation will greatly depend on how cooperative the company is. I see a lot of companies arguing the validity of their internship programs – but it will be up to the government to decide whether an intern is really an intern or an employee, not what the company decides to label them.
- Based on my experience while reporting, it feels that the MSN/AP article is pretty accurate as to what the NY DOL will do.
- It will take some time for the entire process to go through. The DOL may even take the company to court, try to recover “back-pay” for unpaid interns, etc… but it all depends on the specifics of their findings.
Even though I heard that my school wasn’t going to send interns to that company anymore, I knew it wasn’t enough as there are so many schools and too many students that aren’t aware of the FLSA. I’m glad I was able to do my part with regards to this company and in sharing the steps I went through here.
A big thank you to the NYC DOL, everyone that I called and emailed, and to everyone that reads this blog and has commented.