Summer job or internship?

Summer is here!  With no papers to write or tests to take, many high school and college students are hanging out at the pool enjoying their much anticipated time off.  But many others are looking to earn some extra money and a chance to improve their skills.  For many employers, this is a great opportunity to get caught up on tasks without the need to hire an employee long-term.  Due to the planned length of employment and the demographic involved, some employers easily confuse these jobs believing that the on the job training students receive qualifies as an internship and may offer the position as unpaid.  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has specific requirements you need to know when evaluating the type of position you have available.  To qualify for an unpaid internship, the following criteria must be met according to the Department of Labor:

1.    The internship must be similar to the training the student would receive in an educational environment.
2.    The experience will benefit the intern.
3.    The intern does not take the place of another employee and is supervised by existing staff. 
4.    The employer receives no immediate advantage from employing the intern and may in fact have their operations interrupted due to the training involved. Typically, more supervision and training is required for the intern compared to other employees.  
5.    The intern is not guaranteed a job at the end of the internship period. 
6.    The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not eligible for wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of the above criteria are not met, chances are the position would be viewed as an employment relationship and would be subject to wage and hour laws.  For more information, please review this Fact Sheet.

For further assistance or more information, please contact StaffScapes, Inc. at 303-466-7864 or