Skip to main content

To: Wasserman Center For Career Development

Stop Posting Illegal Unpaid Internships!

Employers must now verify that their internship positions comply with the US Department of Labor guidelines before posting, among several other measures. For more information, see below.

Remove postings of illegal, exploitative unpaid internships from CareerNet, NYU's online job and internship posting website.

Why is this important?

In response to this petition, NYU has responded!

After negotiating with NYU officials as a result of the petition, NYU has heightened its protections against illegal unpaid internships on its career site (all changes effective as of January 2014). Employers must now verify that their internship positions comply with the US Department of Labor guidelines before posting, among several other measures. (Read more here:

Thank you for putting your signature on this petition and creating the first successful student-led movement against the university's involvement in contributing to illegal unpaid internships. More progress is on the way!

To get involved in future campaigns on this issue, email [email protected].


Unpaid internships are illegal* and unfair; many violate federal and state labor laws. They deny people the pay they earn, the rights they are entitled to, and the opportunities they deserve.

By posting illegal unpaid internships, the Wasserman Center is perpetuating issues in the following categories:
--Economic: unpaid internships displace employees, take away jobs, and devalue work (unpaid interns at the average company receive only a 1% advantage in getting a job at that company than an applicant who has never worked there)
--Legal: unpaid interns are not protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and therefore have no standing in court against discrimination or sexual harassment
--Class: only those who can afford unpaid internships can have them
--Race: minority groups are almost systematically at a disadvantage with lower economic support and face discrimination without legal protection
--LGBTQ: face discrimination without legal protection
--Gender: 77% of unpaid internships are held by women while more paid positions are awarded to men, which widens the gender income gap (women make $0.78 for every dollar a man makes)
--Human Rights: if workers are treated as employees, they should be compensated fairly for their work.

NYU’s Wasserman Career Center would never post positions that were not open to women, or LGBT people, or people of color. They should not post positions that are not open to people who cannot afford to work for free.

Join us in our fight against illegal labor exploitation. Sign this petition to stop NYU’s Wasserman Career Center from posting ads for illegal unpaid internships.

*Unpaid internships are illegal if the internship is FOR-PROFIT and does not follow the six criteria outlined by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Therefore, this campaign specifically targets unpaid internships in the for-profit sector that violate these provisions.

The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:
1.The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
2.The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
3.The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
5.The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
6.The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.



2016-08-22 16:56:13 -0400

Petition is successful with 1,199 signatures

2016-06-09 13:30:08 -0400

Petition is successful with 1,198 signatures

2016-03-01 18:50:23 -0500

Petition is successful with 1,197 signatures

2015-04-22 20:52:54 -0400

Petition is successful with 1,195 signatures

2014-09-11 23:32:04 -0400

Petition is successful with 1,190 signatures