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:

  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.

Click here to review the complete DOL fact sheet:  Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act.

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About Andrew (Andy) Wampler

For over a decade, I have provided legal services to businesses and individuals in Northeast Tennessee. I spend time litigating breaches of contract, medical malpractice, and commercial disputes and have worked on a number of transactions. I also advise businesses, working much of my time on healthcare and employment matters.

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