by Kathryn M. Nash, Esq.
Dire economic conditions have employers thinking creatively about how to reduce labor costs. At the same time, unemployed job-seekers are desperate to gain an edge over other candidates.
For employers and job-seekers alike, unpaid internships seem like an attractive option. But internships come with risks.
Before you begin taking on interns, do a thoughtful and careful analysis to make sure state and federal law allows you to classify an individual as an unpaid intern rather than a paid employee. If an administrative agency or court determines that the unpaid intern was actually an employee, the misclassification can be very costly. That will make you liable for back pay, legal fees and penalties related to unpaid taxes, unemployment compensation insurance and workers’ compensation.
In light of the U.S. Department of Labor’s increased enforcement efforts, it is important to pay careful attention to h...(register to read more)
- Now's the time to evaluate your in-house promotion policy
- Employees filed job-discrimination complaints with EEOC in near-record numbers last year
- Masonry firm misclassified workers as independent contractors
- Open internships to older, experienced applicants
- Provide wage statements to all employees--even if they can't give a Social Security number