Guidance for Volunteer Interns
“Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street. . . .”
The time is also right for having summer interns in your place of business. With a difficult job market, many students are seeking any type of position to build a resume while others are involved in education programs for credit that require practical on-the-job work.
If you plan on allowing volunteer interns to work over the summer at a for-profit business, you must meet certain criteria outlined by the Department of Labor to avoid a wage and hour violation under the FLSA. Those factors are:
- 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; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
Click here to review the complete DOL fact sheet: Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act.