What are we to do with interns? (Editor’s notes)

Whether or not you should pay an intern is an ethical question — but it could also be a legal one, as lawsuits and employment standards legislation shows
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/27/2012

We’ve talked before about the morality of using unpaid interns — it’s well-covered territory.

But the legality of using unpaid interns is causing plenty of ripples, particularly south of the border, where lawsuits — and talk of class actions — are making headlines. (See “Unpaid interns in U.S. sue former employers for minimum wage.”)

Whether or not you should pay an intern is an ethical question, open to debate. Whether you have to under the law is a little more black-and-white. But some HR professionals I spoke with on this side of the border are seeing shades of grey, with many uncertain as to the exact rules.