This article accompanies Taking Them Seriously.
An April 5, 2010 policy memorandum by the Economic Policy Institute examines the "current system of regulations for internships and the ambiguity it creates [that] ultimately place both students and full-time workers at a considerable disadvantage."
Washington-based EPI argues that the laws governing the rights of student interns "have not kept pace with the rise in the prevalence and importance of the internship. The federal government thus has an essential role to ensure that everyone who engages in substantive work is compensated accordingly, that employers do not have an incentive to replace regular workers with unpaid college students or unpaid interns, and that all workers, student or not, have access to equal protection from harassment and discrimination."
The Institute offers some reforms to reach those goals.