Q: I want to know my rights as a student intern. I'm an international student.
I'm a student and I've been interning at a company for a few months. My semester ends mid-December, but my company wants me to work until December 31 (even though I'm returning in January). Jan-May is my last semester before I graduate and I wanted to take my winter break, but they won't listen to me. I get paid minimum wage and do a full-time employee's job, plus I'm in school full-time. What options do I have?
A: No one here can tell you, of course, what the terms of your internship program says, so no guidance here can relate to that. However, as a paid intern you are considered to be an at will employee unless you have an agreement to the contrary with the employer. That means you can quit at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. If the employer will not give you unpaid time off, that is really your only option.
Good luck to you.
A: I agree with Mr. Pedersen, with one caveat, if you quit without notice under these circumstances, do not think the employer will rehire you when you return. exercising your rights could have long term consequences on your future employability. It isn't legal, but it is reality.
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