Don't Call Me An "Intern," I've Been Here For Years!
Companies should be aware of new developments related to the use of “interns” and “internship programs.” In light of recent lawsuits brought by interns against companies, companies should make sure “interns” are not performing non-learning activities, which essentially limits their participation in a company’s day-to-day business rather significantly. If you use interns or have an internship program, be aware companies must either comply with the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or make sure interns are not acting and working in the same capacity as paid company employees. Moreover, each state has its own statutes and regulations that must be followed to avoid potential issues. A few tips:
- Make sure your internship program has an “academic feel”;
- Make sure the activities your intern participates in is for their sole benefit;
- Make sure regular employees are not being displaced by the interns;
- Interns should not receive any financial compensation for their time.