Shocking Results from Ontario Blitz

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has announced that they have collected nearly $140,000 in wages for interns in workplaces across the province. These are the results from the Ministry’s recent inspection blitz where employment standards officers visited 123 workplaces believed to have internship programs and investigated whether interns were entitled to minimum wage and other employment standards such as public holidays and vacation.

Out of the 77 workplaces that had interns:

  • 18 employers (almost 25 per cent) did not meet the requirements under the Employment Standards Act (ESA)
  • 18 employers (almost 25 per cent) had paid interns and were in compliance with the ESA
  • 41 employers (more than 50 per cent) were found to have intern programs that were exempt from the ESA

The blitz found $140,630 in wages that were owed to interns, and since that time a total of $138,731 has been recovered. This includes:

  • $85,968 in owed wages voluntarily paid by 13 employers
  • $52,763 in owed wages recovered by the ministry through orders issued to four employers


View the press release here:

View the full report here:

Questions? Interviews? Email,


Wall of Shame: The Hill Times

Today on our Wall of Shame is The Hill Times, an independent weekly newspaper on federal politics based out of Ottawa. The Hill Times has advertised editorial, design, photography and website internships that we strongly suspect do not comply with Ontario Employment Standards Act.

You can view the advertisements at and we have saved a PDF of the page here in case they take it down. Although the advertisement states “All internships are unpaid”, it makes no mention of an educational program or training of any kind.

Hill Times – PAY YOUR INTERNS!!!!

Love, the Canadian Intern Association



Wall of Shame: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been placed on our Wall of Shame following an advertisement for a “Fundraising Intern” in Toronto.

While the career level classification is “student”, the job description requires a “university or college diploma” suggesting that the intern could be a graduate. While unclear based on the advertisement, this position may be required to be a paid position under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act. Alternatively, even if this position falls within United Nations immunity for employees, our position is that all United Nations internships should be paid in order to create equal opportunities.

Click here to read the advertisement


We will also take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work being done by some of our partner organizations, the Geneva Interns Association and the Fair Internship Initiative. These groups advocate to end unpaid internships at the United Nations and other international organizations primarily on the grounds that only the world’s most advantaged people can access them. Every year, the United Nations alone employs more than 2,000 unpaid interns in the world’s most expensive cities. We strongly support their efforts and hope to see all United Nations interns receive wages for their work.