Source: Corporate Counsel
By: Shannon Green
24 May 2013
School’s out for summer, and there’s a rush of young students and recent graduates looking for internships. If they’re done correctly, these training programs can be beneficial for both companies and interns. But businesses that don’t compensate interns for the work they perform can end up paying a big price down the road.
In 2010, the Department of Labor released guidelines for employers in the for-profit sector to create internships that comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The fact sheet included a six-factor test for determining whether an unpaid internship is lawful:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment.
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
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