How cautious should you be when hiring summer interns?

intern

We’re rapidly approaching the summer season and with that comes an influx of college students applying for summer internships. Many employers find this time period appealing because of inexpensive or free labor that may now be an option. However, this particular option can present a multitude of problems which no employer wants to inherit.

A problem that seems to have appeared recently, are the number of lawsuits regarding the treatment of interns and questionable pay.

Listed in the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #71, there are a total of six criteria that will guide employers on what to be aware of when hiring unpaid interns.

1. 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.

2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.

3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.

4. 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.

5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.

6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

You can never be too cautious when hiring summer interns – taking the time to ensure you’re following the necessary steps may be time-consuming, but it will save you from a much bigger problem, like being slapped with a lawsuit.

About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

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