In a sluggish economy, with hordes of recent college graduates looking for their first job, and many others seeking careers in new fields, securing an internship can be an important first step.
Google "internships" and results go on for screen after screen. There are companies that provide information on internships available in categories ranging from "accounting" to "wildlife". Large and small companies in every field are also trawling the web for potential interns.
Those seeking experience and credentials in a chosen field understand the value of an internship and are often willing to work an "unpaid" internship. However, under both Massachusetts and federal law, unpaid internships are often illegal.
In a recent post on the Massachusetts Wage Law Blog, Massachusetts Wage Law and Unpaid Internships, Nicholas F. Ortiz of Ortiz & O'Donnell parses the workings of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 151, Section 2 and its relation to federal law.
More information concerning federal law can be found in the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #71 ("Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act").