- Talent Management
Mark Cuban tends to be a polarizing force in the business world and one of his many opinions he frequently shares is why employers shouldn’t pay their interns.
Cuban has been outspoken about why he thinks people should work for free, and it’s brought up a large debate about the issue.
A Rise in Unpaid Interns
Since 2008 there’s been a big uptick in the number of unpaid interns working at companies throughout the country, and that’s largely because of the weak economy. Job seekers have been seen as desperate to take on work, and employees, particularly young ones, have often been working for free.
The U.S. Department of Labor has spoken out against unpaid internships, citing employment law concerns.
On the heels of this, Mark Cuban has been very vocal about why he thinks employees should be entitled to work for free, and why employers should be able to let them do just that if they’re willing.
Cuban wrote, in a controversial blog post, that he felt the government was dissuading people from working and gaining valuable experience, whereas on the other hand they would be doing nothing in the meantime.
Some interns would agree—they may get an amazing opportunity to work in a top company and in the process they’re going to make connections and gain experiences that are worth much more than a paycheck. On the other hand, interns are often charged with doing a significant amount of work in a company and they feel like it’s unfair to not receive payment in exchange for what they’re doing.
There’s no right answer to the question in our opinion, and we see value in internships in general, whether paid or unpaid, but for companies who are unsure of which approach to take, it’s important to see that paying your interns doesn’t just have to benefit them—it can also benefit the employer.
Here’s a few reasons:
What do you think about paying interns? Do you agree with Mark Cuban that the experience is enough of a payment, or do you think more companies should be willing to pay their interns?