A client who is a fashion designer told me that when she goes on a job interview, she's usually asked to create a "mock" design. She says she has seen her "mock" designs on companies' line of clothing--including a swimsuit in Vogue.
That reminded me of how often employers ask job candidates to create a work "sample." One employer admitted to me that he had no intention of hiring anyone but placed a job ad. He had all the applicants write a plan for marketing his company's core product, which he then used as free work product. He said, "They were all so eager to get the (nonexistent) job that they killed themselves in creating their plan. I got great ideas." Pig.
And of course, there are internships, which are proliferating: employers convert what used to be paying jobs into no-pay or pittance-pay internships. It used to be you had to be a student to be hireable as an intern but that seems to have gone by the boards. A relative of mine worked as an unpaid intern in the Clinton White House writing Hillary Clinton's daily briefing. After a year of that, she asked Hillary's chief of staff, Evelyn Lieberman, "I feel guilty living off my parents. You have me doing important work for a year now. Could you see your way clear to paying me?" Evelyn responded, "Don't you realize how lucky you are to have an internship in the White House?!" My relative, incensed at the hypocrisy of Hillary, who gives speeches on behalf of labor, wouldn't even pay her, who had won her university's outstanding student award, minimum wage. She quit.
And then there was this employer of mine--a major corporation--that asked me to write 50 articles as an "investment" in the magazine's website, with a promise that as soon as advertising revenues came in, I'd be well paid. Indeed the advertising, lots of it (all national ads, including Viagra!), came in. How much did I receive? $3,000. That's $60 an article. The managing editor said "That's a down payment." I never received another dime.
It ain't easy being a worker, let alone a job seeker in this economy.
For more on wage theft, see wagetheft.org and the book, Wage Theft in America: Why millions of working Americans are not paid and what we can do about it.