Vancouver-based digital media company HootSuite has ended its unpaid internship policy after a barrage of criticism online.
CEO Ryan Holmes said in a statement the company conducted an immediate review and determined “some intern roles may not have been in compliance with (the) Employment Standards Act of B.C.”
The company will “immediately rectify the issue by offering full payment, including interest incurred, to unpaid inters who had roles within our company within the last six months that were not in accordance with the ESA BC.”
An April 5 posting on Reddit, a social news website, suggested that the company was breaking the law.
The post attracted more than 400 comments overnight, some debating whether the company’s interns would be able to file a complaint under the provincial Employment Standards Act, which requires such work to be paid.
By Sunday, the company website’s careers section had removed this reference from a string of job listings: “Note this position is a three month internship at present with a commitment of Monday to Friday with core hours of 9 a.m. -5 p.m. and that the role is unpaid.”