A legal, unpaid internship has to be a learning experience for the intern, and an employer cannot expect the intern to produce work that will benefit the employer. Read on to see if you should be a paid intern according to the FLSA minimum wage and overtime laws.
Paid Internships or Unpaid Internships - What the FLSA says
Interns are covered by certain regulations if they work for employers in the private sector that are not charities. Employers have to follow certain guidelines in order to determine if they have to pay interns under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Certain tests must be met in order for interns not to fall under the federal minimum wage and overtime laws. Employers must prove that all of these 6 factors apply in order to fall outside of the overtime and minimum wage requirements:
- The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
- The internship experience is for the intern's benefit;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under supervision of staff;
- The employer providing training gets no immediate advantage from the intern; and on occasion, regular work operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not entitled to a job at the end of the internship; and
- Both the employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
If all the above criteria are met, then there is no employment relationship and minimum wage and overtime do not apply to the intern. However, many employers take advantage of factor number 4 and have interns doing work that is compensable. If you have questions about FLSA guidelines for interns, fill out our confidential contact form for a free case review today.
Interns in Texas: Watch our You Tube videos to get educated about the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Video: Top 10 Overtime and Wage Myths Employers Want You to Believe
Video: Texas Employee Wage Rights
Video: Overtime Laws Explained