Think Interns are Free? Think Again.
May 06, 2014 by Kathryn Carlson
Posted in: Human Resources Management
Tags: FLSA, Interns, Interships, Paid, Standards
As the summer creeps closer and the workload gets heavier, many employers begin to think of hiring interns. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free intern. In years past the New York Times has reminded employers that if interns are unpaid their workload must resemble their vocational education. Additionally, these interns must work under close supervision and cannot be a substitute for regular employees and their work must not be in immediate benefit to the employer.
Every year national attention is brought to the laws of internships with the appearance of high-profile lawsuits. These lawsuits are brought by former interns and focus upon employment practice because of the real labor market. To protect yourself against legal action, pay your interns at least minimum wage and ensure that the job description and pay structure properly classifies the intern.
Before recruiting interns this year, contact your KPA HRM advocate or email [email protected] to learn what your legal rights and boundaries are.