Internships and Labor Laws

Do Labor Laws Apply to Internships?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that individuals who are considered “employed” must be paid minimum wage and overtime compensation. Interns in the “for-profit” sector are considered employed ulness the U.S. Department of Labor six-factor test is met. Many states, including California, follow these federal labor laws.

The U.S. Department of Labor six-factor test

The U.S. Department of Labor has a six-factor test to determine if an internship can remain unpaid in a “for-profit” company. The six rules are stated below:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If these six criteria are not met, the intern must be paid minimum wage and overtime under federal labor law (FLSA).

Should you be getting paid?

Do you believe your employer violated internship employment laws? Free and confidential consultations are available with our employment attorneys by calling (866) 981-4800 or by filling out the form to the right.