CFL under fire for violating labour law by replacing workers with unpaid interns

The Canadian Football League has come under fire for replacing graphics designers and web developers with unpaid interns who are only given a nominal honourarium.

The league’s hiring practices came to light after a fan posted the job advertisement on Reddit.

“Who needs minimum wage when you can have “experience”?” the redditor posted on the CFL subreddit. “Graphic designers, social media managers, and web developers with completed degrees are being asked to work for 6 months, 40 hours per week in new scheme to replace paid entry level workers. The honourarium is less than half of minimum wage.”

“Tweet the CFL or write to your MP if you disagree with these unpaid internships.” the user urged.

The Ontario Employment Standards Act dictates that for a paid internship to be legal, all of the conditions below are met:

  1. The training is similar to that which is given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the intern. You receive some benefit from the training, such as new knowledge or skills.
  3. The employer derives little, if any, benefit from the activity of the intern while he or she is being trained.
  4. Your training doesn’t take someone else’s job.
  5. Your employer isn’t promising you a job at the end of your training.
  6. You have been told that you will not be paid for your time.

The job advertisement, which has subsequently been taken down, is looking for “primary web developers working on features for,, CFL team websites and the CFI statistics API,” meaning that the employer is deriving major benefits from the activity of the intern.

Fans have also taken to twitter to express their outrage at the league under the hashtag #FlagOnThePay.

“I love it when a big league like CFL encourages the practice of creatives being paid zilch for their work and experience,” Vancouver,BC-based System Administrator Peter Kieser ‏tweeted.

“CFL Come on, you can do better than unpaid internships,” Marc Lagace of Winnipeg, Manitoba tweeted. “Schooling isn’t free.”

The CFL has yet to officially comment on the allegations.

One Response to CFL under fire for violating labour law by replacing workers with unpaid interns

  1. Anonymous says:

    In other words, the workers get as much as the players do.

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