COMMENT: Waging the War Against Unpaid Labor: A Call to Revoke Fact Sheet #71 in Light of Recent Unpaid Internship Litigation

Rachel Willer 

In the pilot of her television show Girls, Lena Dunham satirizes unpaid internships by depicting the protagonist, Hannah Horvath, asking her employer to pay her after more than a year of unpaid work.1 Her employer responds with a quip about the competitive nature of her internship at a New York publishing firm and distinguishes her from another employee who the firm hired after a year of interning. While flagrant violations of U.S. labor laws are breezed over as a matter of comedic relief in today‘s media, they represent very real controversies for nearly a million unpaid interns every year.

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