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how long is it ok to work for free?

i was looking for a new job. a company i would love to work for asked me to do some kind of work practice before they would actually hire me. thats fine but how long is appropriate? 1 months? 2?


Asked by Anonymous at 5:10 PM on Feb. 8, 2009 in Money & Work

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • 1week, maybe 2 weeks.

    thats more than enough to figure out if you like the work there and if the boss is satisfied with your work.

    Answer by m.robertson811 at 5:13 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • I agree. In fact they should pay you from the start, even if only an hourly amount. They should not expect you to do volunteer work. You have no quarantee that they will even hire you, and if they do, you have still worked for free. One week maximum, unless you want to work there so much that you don't mind donating your time. and gas.

    Answer by Bmat at 5:16 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • 0. I wonder how they get around it? Is it an internship? When I worked in retail, they would make up for the sales that they had by severely cutting down staffing leaving no help in the store. I would come in and work for free just to help my friend out who was the manager. We got in trouble because apparently it is illegal (at least in that state) for an employee to be working without getting paid. If you are an employee, you need to be making a wage, they need to be properly reporting the taxes to the government from what you make and they need to be claiming you on their worker's comp insurance plan. I would not EVER work for a company that did not want to pay me. Most companies have "probationary" periods but they must pay you during those periods. Otherwise, they get weeks of free work out of you and can just fire you and hire someone else to work for free before firing them...the list goes on.


    Answer by NovemberLove at 5:16 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • Id never work free. If it was some sort of training session for a week then maybe. I had to do that when I trained as a community support worker who worked with the mentally disabled. They made us take a 5 day training course that included cpr etc. If it had been more then 5 days I would never have done it.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:18 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • 2 weeks for a work assessment should be plenty. I personally would never work for free though.

    Answer by Magpie75 at 5:21 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • they will call me again tomorrow to tell me about all the details. i just want to know if its ok to work for free at all. the business is owned by my best friends cousin so im pretty sure they will not screw me or use me to get a cheap employee for a few days.

    When they ask me for 1 week that should be ok? Or maybe a few days.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:22 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • Yeah i think thats absolutely ok.

    im from germany, and there, almost no company will hire you until they know how you actually work. if you know you will get the job when your work is good enough for them, sure then it should be worth working 1 week for free.

    i wish you good luck with the job!

    Answer by m.robertson811 at 5:25 PM on Feb. 8, 2009