Unpaid internships have historically been a way for students or recent graduates to gain valuable experience with the possibility of future employment. In the United States, two-thirds of students have completed at least one internship before they graduate from college and nearly half of all internships in the country are unpaid. However, unpaid internships have recently become more controversial following several lawsuits claiming that such programs constitute a violation of state and federal wage laws. While most of these lawsuits have involved the use of unpaid interns in the entertainment, media, and fashion industries, some private-sector businesses have decided that having interns is simply not worth the risk.
While the inner workings of your company's human resources staff may seem a mystery even to management, in fact, a properly-functioning HR department serves an essential role in any well-run organization. As federal and California employment law grows increasingly complex, effective HR managers can help keep your business out of legal hot water with the variety of federal and state organizations that oversee the workplace. So what does human resources do? Its functions can roughly be broken down into three categories: human, administrative and strategic.