Hillary Clinton Doesn't Pay Interns, Wants Companies to Pay Interns (Might Even Force Them)

War on teen opportunity


Hillary Clinton
Hillary for Iowa

Hillary Clinton recently tweeted that her campaign is accepting student interns. Perks include, "free coffee, great views, and the chance to make history."

How about salaries? Nope.

That's right—internships at the Clinton campaign are just like internships at the Clinton Foundation: unpaid, according to The Week.

On its own, there's nothing scandalous about that. Plenty of internships—political internships, especially—are unpaid. Student labor just isn't worth that much, and the main benefit to the kids themselves is the experience they accrue. In competitive industries—ahem, journalism—being able to work for cheap (or free!) is an advantage young people have over older, more experienced workers.

So it would be no big deal that Clinton doesn't pay her interns, except:

Even Clinton herself has been a vocal opponent of unpaid labor. "Businesses have taken advantage of unpaid internships to an extent that it is blocking the opportunities for young people to move on into paid employment," Clinton said at UCLA in 2013. "More businesses need to move their so-called interns to employees." 


Hillary Clinton threw her support behind efforts to boost the minimum wage for fast food restaurant workers on Friday. "The national minimum wage is a floor, and it needs to be raised," Clinton said during a wide-ranging speech on Friday that centered on various problems with New York's corporate culture.

But there's one pretty big hitch to Clinton's endorsement: it only applies to folks who work in New York. The idea Clinton is backing comes from a panel appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Earlier this week, that panel recommended slowly raising the minimum wage for fast food workers so that it eventually reaches $15 per hour by July 2021 (with the rate increasing at a faster clip for people who work within New York City, where the cost of living is higher, so that employers would be required to pay workers there that $15 rate by 2018).

It appears that while Clinton is perfectly content not to pay her own workers a living wage (or anything at all), she is interested in compelling businesses to do the opposite.

Related: Clinton's plan to make college more affordable for students will backfire.