Successful Vancouver-based tech startup, HootSuite yesterday announced that it will review its internship job postings following complaints over allegations made on social media site, Reddit that the company is not paying its interns.
“I learned about some concerns that a few of our internship postings may not be in compliance with the local laws,” Holmes wrote to the internship association. “…When we created the internship program, I believed we were doing the right thing by offering the opportunity for you people to add experience to their resume and join a Vancouver success story.”
“If we learn these internships are not compliant, we will fix it,” he said.
In British Columbia, internships are defined by law as “on-the-job-training offered by an employer to provide a person with practical experience.
“Often internships are offered to persons who have completed a diploma or degree program and are seeking employment,” according to the Employment Standards Act and Regulations. “…If the duties performed by interns fall within the definition of ‘work’ contained in the Act, the intern falls within the definition of ‘employee’ and the agency using the services of an intern falls within the definition of ‘employer’, internship will be considered ‘work’ for the purposes of the Act.”
Holmes said that HootSuite’s lawyers believe there may be 15 company interns in the past 12 months that “may be affected by the unpaid internship guidelines.”
He said these cases will be reviewed by the HootSuite team.