By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you think that making copies and getting coffee is an unpaid intern’s dream, think again.

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Fashion designers, like other companies, are finding that the use of unpaid interns may soon go out of style. Companies across the country have long used the promise of a good recommendation as a benefit in lieu of salary to get unpaid interns, particularly in industries where there are many more wanna-bes than jobs available. But clothing companies Lacoste, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, and Calvin Klein to name a few have all been sued recently for not paying minimum wage to interns.

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If the season is beginning to start looking either to hire a summer intern or to be one, this is what you need to know:

Under the law, an internship can only be unpaid if it is primarily meant for the benefit of the intern – not the employer, and the employer that provides the internship must derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern. If an internship is really just a way to get free labor, it’s a violation of the law.

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When you consider that federal minimum wage is only $7.25 in most states – less than the cost of a high fashion headband – it may make sense to pay an hourly wage.