THE LAW: The Fair Labor Standards Act () defines an employee as “any individual employed by an employer.” To “employ” means “to suffer or permit to work.”
So how do unpaid interns fit into this picture? No doubt, many believe they are both permitted to work … and suffer, perhaps because they’re not being paid.
The FLSA doesn’t specifically address unpaid interns. But where the law is silent, the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. In Walling v. Portland Terminal Co. (330 U.S. 148, 1947), the Supreme Court ruled that individuals who work without any express or implied compensation agreement on an employer’s premises are not employees, if they benefit by receiving training or experience.
WHAT’S NEW: On the surface, internship arrangements look like a win-win: The employer gets free labor. The intern gets valuable training and builds skills.
Traditionally, interns were relatively young, inexperienced workers hoping to lan...(register to read more)