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 suffering, 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: With job markets tight and employers shunning applicants with long, unexplained résumé gaps, the ambitious unemployed are opting for unpaid internships. On the surface, that looks like a win-win: The employer gets free labor in exchange ...(register to read more)