Are you an illegal victim of an Unpaid Internship?
Actually, if the internship is unpaid and the intern is contributing to your organization, then your organization is breaking the law!
The US Dept of Labor has very specific guidelines about what qualifies as legal for unpaid internships.
Here’s the test:
The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:
- 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.
If it doesn’t meet the test, the intern must be paid at least minimum wage.
And here’s the full fact sheet:
And in the media, even: