Despite recent efforts to clarify just when it’s acceptable to hire an unpaid intern, many workers – including large numbers of college students – report mistreatment and confusion surrounding the rules. In fact, news has reported on several high profile lawsuits concerning internships at Harper’s Bazaar and Fox Searchlight.
Remember – if you’re working at an unpaid internship it should be for your benefit and training and not the employers. In fact, many times internships may be to the detriment of the employer.
Before you accept an unpaid internship, it’s a good idea to talk with an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney to ensure that you’re not being cheated out of the training and guidance you deserve.
So what are the rules surrounding workers rights and internships? The main rules come from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA provides guidelines concerning what distinguishes an intern from an employee and entitled to pay.
These guidelines include:
• The employer must derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern;
• The internship must be for the benefit of the intern;
• An internship should not include tasks that would otherwise be assigned to paid employees; and • An intern isn’t necessarily entitled to a job at the end of the internship.
The DOL Wage and Hour Division has a complete list of all internship criteria an employer must follow when determining whether an internship may be unpaid.
For more information or if you believe you have been denied fair compensation based on the terms of your internship, please contact the top Atlanta wage and hour lawyers Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.