Now that spring is here, young people everywhere will soon be thinking about summer internships. For many employers, this is a great opportunity to get caught up on all the outstanding tasks on the “to do” list without the need to hire an employee long-term. But before you hire for an internship, there are a few things you need to consider.
We hear all the time from employers who think that the internship they are offering qualifies as unpaid due to the planned length of employment and the demographic involved. They often confuse these jobs because they have been led to believe that on the job training of students automatically qualifies as free labor. However, that is not necessarily true. 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 info@StaffScapes.com