Not Getting Paid For a Paid Internship

To people reading this article I would like to recommend that you should not do business with institutes similar to which I mentioned in my articles, as companies lacking integrity are likely to ditch in the worst of times.

Not long before writing this article, I had just finished an internship. I was hired by a startup called Legal24by7 a subsidiary of Foodwagon via an advertisement on a popular website for internships, though I was promised a small amount I readily accepted it since it was an easy job and because I had some time to spare then to add a little more experience under my belt, not to mention some extra bucks to spare in my pocket.

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The work that I actually did was much harder than what it was formerly mentioned on the advertisement but since it was a good learning opportunity I was more than happy to comply to the demands. What ruined my experience working with Legal24by7 and Foodwagon was that, after mere moments after the completion of my project I was informed that the stipend offered by my employer was a hoax and the person leading my project though was impressed by my abilities and more than satisfied by my work casually dismissed as a way to provide me with a better Letter Of Recommendation(LOR). This sadly is not a strange incident, I have come across many organizations which try to extort free work out of college students who are too busy to retaliate to this behavior and are in need of the certificate which is to be provided by the company, thus the companies blackmail their interns into submission, denying them the certificate and other paper work verifying their efforts in the company, a requirement for many colleges and even Job interviews

I of-course have have much to learn regarding Web Development, but I have plenty of experience and many beautifully written LORs from many prestigious institutes and was in no need mood to trade hours of my hard work to be acknowledged by some startup, naturally I was furious and a bit confused at this incident, luckily I had not shared any code with the company in question by then and had displayed by work only by sharing the video of a functionalities or by hosting it online on free servers giving me a little leverage on the company as they wanted to get hold of my work.

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Firstly I informed the people in my close circle to help them avoid these situations. Luckily I was immune to this as I was already in possession of these documents from institutes much more reputed than the company I was currently employed by, so was in no mood to just let it slide, so my employer simply left me in dark for a week under the pretext of discussing with the higher ups, at this point it was a battle of wills, we both knew that whoever broke down first and texted would be on the loosing side of the battle, so what I did was to tug in and wait for them to text me asking for the website, I simply invested my free time in other projects and simply relaxing a bit.

Later I tried to get the certificate from the company at the very least which was a bit difficult but I was able to get it from them without relinquishing my work. I made sure to write a formal complaint about the company to Internshala which first tried to brush off my case but later came around. All they did was mail the company 3 times and then shut the case down as this was all they could do.

At the end all I had was my work which I did not share with Legal24By7 out of spite and pride. So I would like to recommend everyone to

  1. Get internships only from trusted sources.
  2. Not to relinquish control over your work until the payment is secured.
  3. Keep a backup internship in hand so that you could not be extorted of your work.
  4. Get proper documentation of the work and conversations you have with your employer.

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