Some companies abuse internships as “free labor” and assign interns job duties that should be paid duties. Or require interns to work more than 40 hours per week. Do the job requirements for your internship seem like duties for a paid position?
Many interns wonder if they should actually be paid for some of the work they are doing during their internships. The Dept. of Labor has made it easy to determine if the work you are doing as an intern is eligible for pay. If you can answer “YES” to all of the questions below, then your internship qualifies as a non-paid internship:
- Is the internship similar to the type of training that would be given in an educational environment, even if it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities?
- Does the internship experience benefit the intern educationally?
- Is the intern’s work closely supervised by the employer’s existing staff without replacing or displacing any of the employer’s regular employees?
- Does the employer receive an immediate advantage by providing the training; are the employer’s operations impeded by the supervision required?
- Has it been made clear that the intern may not necessarily be entitled to a job at the end of the conclusion of the internship?
- Is it understood by both the employer and the intern that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent during the internship?
If you answered “NO” to any of the above questions, you may be eligible to be paid for your internship. If you work over 40 hours in a week, you must be paid overtime, regardless of whether you are working as an intern.