Rites of spring: The hidden dangers of hiring unpaid interns — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Rites of spring: The hidden dangers of hiring unpaid interns

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in Compensation and Benefits,Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

The calendar turns to spring, and you know what’s coming. It’s that time of year when employers are swamped with requests from college students for unpaid internships.

Thousands of students want a chance to build their résumés, find a mentor and get an edge on the competition when graduation finally comes. They call, e-mail and write, begging for a chance to learn the ropes. And they don’t ask for much in return—often not even a paycheck.

The benefits of the symbiotic relationship are obvious. An internship provides the student with an opportunity for real-life experience, résumé enhancement and perhaps a leg up on a paying position with the employer after graduation. The employer receives the chance to evaluate a new applicant, at no cost.

The legal risks, however, are not so obvious.

Interns may be employees

One area of risk is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires that nonexempt employees rec...(register to read more)

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