Learning on the Job: Creating Legally-Sound Internship Programs
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Receive guidance on the legal and practical implications of establishing an internship program in your organization.Creating a successful internship program is not as simple as identifying and assigning appropriate projects and requiring interns to shadow your employees. An internship can be a wonderful opportunity for the participant to learn about a business, organization, or industry. Organizations that maintain internship programs must be mindful, however, that they must comply with several federal and state employment laws. We will discuss the entire cycle of the internship process, such as recruiting interns, whether to compensate interns, and what duties and tasks interns may perform while spending time with your organization. This topic will also address whether your organization's internship program satisfies the legal requirements established by the United States Department of Labor (or any applicable state laws or guidance). This information will help organizations that offer internship programs to ensure compliance with the law.
AuthorsJeffrey M. Landes, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. Susan Gross Sholinsky, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
• Types of Internship Programs
• Paid vs. Unpaid
Legal Definitions Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act
• Definition of Employee
• Discussion of the Trainee and Volunteer Exceptions
Department of Labor (DOL) Guidance
• Requirements for Interns in For-Profit Businesses
• Requirements for Interns in Not-For-Profit Organizations
• Evaluate DOL Criteria to Determine Whether an Employment Relationship Exists
How to Find Interns
How to Hire Interns
• What Benefits Can Be Provided to Interns?
• What Other Items Should Organizations Consider When Using Interns?
• Wage and Hour Issues
• Applicable State Laws
During the Internship
• What Company Policies Apply to Interns?
• What Types of Assignments Are Appropriate (or Inappropriate) for Interns?
• Must Interns Receive Academic Credit?
End of Internship
• Should the Organization Provide References for Interns?
• May an Organization Offer Employment Post-Internship?
• What Benefits, If Any, Should Be Provided to Interns at the End of the Internship?