With the summer coming, some companies are weighing the costs of summer help and may be considering unpaid interns. Generally speaking, interns in medical, legal, and hr industries tend to be paid, but there are some cases in which an unpaid interns can be used. Companies must be very careful to make sure that these six conditions set forth by the Department of Labor are all consistently met to consider someone an unpaid intern:
- The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.
- The training is for the benefit of the trainee.
- The trainees do not displace regular employees and work under close observation.
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion, the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
- The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period.
- The employer and the trainee understand that the trainee is not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.
The key factor is that the unpaid internship must be an education experience designed for the intern’s benefit; the company may not use the internship to its own benefit. For example, if the intern will be expected to do any routine filing, errands, administration, project assistance, or other tasks normally assigned to employees that help the company, he or she does not comply with the standards above and cannot be an unpaid intern. If in doubt, contact your Human Resources Consultant at Nextep by calling 888-811-5150 or email email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.dol.gov.