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Unpaid Interns – Are You Following the Rules this Summer?

Unpaid Interns – Are You Following the Rules this Summer?

It’s June and summer interns are ready to work!

Is your small business looking to hire interns this summer?

The recently issued New Federal Guidelines on Internships could affect the number of paid and unpaid interns companies hire going forward.

Interns: Paid or Unpaid?

There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation. The Supreme Court has held that the term “suffer or permit work” cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid of instruction. This may apply to interns who received training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria. The determination of whether an internship of training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program.

According to the Department of Labor the following six legal criteria must be applied when making a determination if an internship is required to be paid.

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
  4. The employer that provides training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Remember, many of the labor laws that apply to employees, such as workplace discrimination laws, also apply to interns.

If you need a little extra help ironing out all the details when it comes to hiring summer interns, we can “Simplifi” it for you. Call us today at 614.635.8759.