Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from social.dol.gov
Every spring, as college students nationwide prepare for finals and pull all-nighters to wrap up their spring semesters, many simultaneously ramp up their search for the perfect internship. The Wage and Hour Division understands that these “foot-in-the-door” opportunities can provide invaluable experience and have a great impact on future career paths. But when can internships be unpaid, and when must interns be considered employees? When must these programs pay not just in terms of experience, but in cold, hard cash?
Just like many college officials, parents and students, the Wage and Hour Division is concerned that interns work under conditions that are in compliance with federal law. If you in fact are an “employee,” you must be paid properly. A fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.
The Fair Labor Standards Act, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, provides criteria for what is and is not legal regarding payment for internships. Six criteria must be applied when determining if an internship can be unpaid: