The Department of Labor (DOL) has just announced that it has adopted a stricter test for determining which workers are “employees” vs. “interns,” and thus eligible for pay and other benefits associated with employment.
Previously, the DOL followed a six-part test to determine how a worker should be classified. This test focused on a variety of factors but emphasized whether the job performed displaced regular employees, whether pay was expected, and if the anticipation of employment existed. However, according to a DOL statement, this test was too narrow. Instead, it has now elected to follow a broader standard that federal courts have recently favored. This seven-point test allows “increased flexibility to holistically analyze internships on a case-by-case basis,” and evaluates such factors as whether the internship was primarily educational – reflecting and complementing classroom training – benefitting the intern – or whether it is work that is designed to benefit the employer. The seven-point test will likely make it more difficult for employers to classify workers as interns not eligible for payment.
Here is the DOL’s updated fact sheet on concerning interns: Intern Fact Sheet
If you have any questions concerning your job classification as an intern or employee, or any other wage and hour concern, please contact the experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.