Vancouver-based HootSuite took a lot of heat this month over its unpaid internships, spearheaded by a debate on Reddit.
The Canadian technology company originally reacted to the controversy with a Facebook post, which thanked users "for their concern" but did not imply changing their practice. However, yesterday CEO Ryan Holmes affirmed that his company may have been breaking the law and would immediately right its wrongs.
“It was brought to my attention on Friday, April 5th that HootSuite had unpaid internship postings on its website that may have been in contravention of the Employment Standards Act of BC,” Holmes said in an emailed statement to the Vancouver Sun. “HootSuite conducted an immediate review with our Talent and Legal team and we have determined that some intern roles may not have been in compliance with Employment Standards Act of BC.
“To completely remove outstanding doubt around this matter, we will immediately rectify the issue by offering full payment, including interest incurred, to unpaid interns who had roles within our company within the last six months that were not in accordance with the ESA BC," he added.
“HootSuite will continue to offer its internship program, ensuring that future internship positions are compliant with the Employment Standards Act of BC," Holmes told the Sun. "I remain confident that our program offers young professionals unique opportunities to build their careers and I will proudly continue to provide this option for those interested.”