To pay or not to pay? Internships are still being misunderstood by businesses.

The Department of Labor has set forth six guidelines to determine if an internship at a for-profit organization can be paid or unpaid. All six guidelines must be met in order for an internship to qualify as being unpaid.  The six guidelines from the Department of Labor are:

 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 the 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; and

 6.       The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Career centers at colleges across the nation help students acquire internships so they have some on-the-job experience. However, some schools now are declining positing company’s positions if it is unpaid due to the six guidelines coming into question.  The Denver post recently posted an article about internships and how some companies still have not changed their internship positions even though these guidelines went into effect in 2010. Some interns have filed suit for wage disputes with companies that offered them unpaid internships.

For the full article please visit this link to the Denver Post.

For more information about the six guidelines please see this Department of Labor’s fact sheet.

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