Legal Issues from Unpaid Summer Interns

internI wrote last summer about issues involving volunteer interns; it’s that time of year again to consider your practices involving interns.  With more and more students and job seekers who need resume-building opportunities, there are many requests to job shadow or obtain unpaid work experience.  Employers must use care to avoid running afoul of wage and hour laws.

The DOL has listed several factors in reviewing whether the FLSA is implicated, including if the internship is similar to educational training, is really for the benefit of the intern, does not displace regular employees, and offers no immediate advantage to the employer.  Based on the factors, most interns should be paid for work they perform.

The complete DOL fact sheet is available here:  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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