Ivanka Trump, a 'champion of working women,' doesn't pay her female interns

Source: AP
Source: AP

Throughout her father's campaign, Ivanka Trump has been known as the sane, clear-headed Trump (which is kind of like saying someone is the most sexually virile person at a party for eunuchs, but we digress). She's also established herself as a progressive voice of reason in her father's campaign, fighting for gender equality in the workplace and championing the rights of working women

One person who might not agree with that perception of Trump, however, is Quincy Bulin, a copy intern who works as an unpaid intern for Ivanka Trump. 

In a recent, pastel-hued blog post for Ivanka Trump's website, Bulin penned a guide for "how to make it as an unpaid intern." 

"It's the conundrum every unpaid intern knows well: You don't have a paycheck, but you still have living expenses," Bulin wrote, before adding that this was her third unpaid internship in New York City. "I've learned a few tricks, as have the other interns at Ivanka Trump HQ," she said. 

Trump herself later tweeted out the blog post with the hashtag #NoMoneyNoProblems. It's worth noting she Trump has a net worth of $150 million.

The article consists of sourced tips from the rest of Trump's enslaved band of coffee monkeys unpaid interns, all of whom appear to be women. The post demonstrates just how far her unpaid interns have to go to make ends meet: For instance, one intern says she had to take on multiple part-time jobs in order to put aside money for the summer. 

To be fair, the blog post does make a point of saying that interns should ask for reimbursement "for travel" or a "lunch stipend." Yet the article has outraged many of Trump's critics, who took to Twitter to criticize Ivanka for advocating for the rights of women in the workplace, while simultaneously asking her (female) interns to work for her for free: 

It's worth noting that Trump is far from the only entrepreneur to employ unpaid interns. In 2016, the production company Fox Searchlight Pictures finally settled a class-action lawsuit filed by two unpaid interns who worked on the 2010 movie Black Swan. 

The interns argued that by employing them for free, the studio violated minimum wage laws, so they demanded back pay and damages for themselves and a number of other interns. (Similar lawsuits were also filed against NBC Universal and Conde Nast, the latter resulting in a settlement of $5.8 million.) 

While there's certainly little that's ethical about employing unpaid interns, unpaid internships are not illegal, provided they adhere to certain guidelines put forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act. (For instance, unpaid internships are generally permissible at nonprofit organizations, or at for-profit companies provided there's an "educational component" to the internship.)

Aside from learning how to navigate their CMS, It's unclear whether the unpaid staffers Trump employs are reaping such "educational" benefits. One thing, however, is certain: Trump is very good at advocating for the rights of working women, provided those women have enough means to be able to afford working for free in the first place. 

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EJ Dickson

Ej Dickson is Mic's Connections editor. A former lifestyle editor at the Daily Dot, Ej has also written for Salon, Vice, the Awl, the Hairpin and Women's Health Magazine. She does a middling impersonation of R&B star Macy Gray.

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