June 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm #179118
These guidelines are primarily for public sector jobs as per the guidance from DOL
“Unpaid internships in the public sector and for non-profit charitable organizations, where the intern volunteers without expectation of compensation, are generally permissible.”
From the Department of Labor
There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation. The Supreme Court has held that the term “suffer or permit to work” cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid or instruction. This may apply to interns who receive training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria. The determination of whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program.
The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:
- 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;
- 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
June 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm #179122
Commentary and additional information from The Atlantic:
The Court Ruling That Could End Unpaid Internships for Good
Having young adults work for free is now officially a legal liability.
The unpaid intern, that lowly, coffee-scalded creature of the modern office, might be about to become a thing of the past.
For the last two years, media companies have been combating a series of lawsuits brought by interns claiming the right to a paycheck under state and federal law. Things began looking good for team management this past May, after a federal court scuttled the class action filed by a former Harper’s Bazaar intern against Hearst Magazines.
But yesterday, corporate’s luck took a turn for the worse. A federal district judge in Manhattan, William H. Pauley III, ruled that Fox Searchlight studios had indeed broken New York and federal minimum wage laws by failing to pay two interns who had worked on the set of its Oscar-winning flick “Black Swan.” A few pages later in his opinion, Judge Pauly proceeded to greenlight a class action sought by an intern who had worked in Fox Entertainment Group’s offices.
June 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm #179120
Dr. Phuong Le Callaway, PhDParticipant
Thanks for the post. Great information.
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