Expect a bumper crop of eager interns this summer, thanks in part to the still-struggling economy.
While internships can be a win/win situation for employers and students, the arrangements come with potential legal pitfalls that many employers overlook. By identifying and managing these risks, your company can avoid liability and the threat of legal action.
When must you pay interns?
If an intern secures education, class credit and experience from working at your company, the "flow of benefits" is equal, so your company isn't required to pay the intern. But if you profit too much from the arrangement, federal law says this would suggest an employment relationship, meaning your intern must be paid.
Advice: To avoid paying student interns, know the Labor Department rules regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act ((register to read more)). They say interns must be paid at least the minimum wage if the program doesn't meet the follow...
- Assess ADA disability against average ability
- No sexual harassment? Then no employer liability
- Have business justification for hiring rules that could cause disparate impact
- Texas' new 'Loser Pays Law': Employers score a win
- Watch out for overt harassment, but don't sweat isolated--possibly misinterpreted--comments