As summer approaches and the recession continues many workers may consider
taking an unpaid internship. Unpaid internships have many benefits for
both employers and workers. They provide an opportunity for interns to
learn skills, make connections and demonstrate their work ethic. Employers
benefit by having eager workers assist them and receive training without
having to pay.
However, the arrangement may also lead to exploitation. It is important
for both workers and employers alike to understand what may be considered
an unpaid internship and when an employer must provide proper compensation.
In order to clarify the rules, the Department of Labor has created an
unpaid internship test that sets forth when workers must be paid. Generally, anyone making legitimate
contributions to the workplace must be paid according to standard
wage and hour laws.
The unpaid internship tests evaluates:
• If the training the intern will receive is similar to training he
or she would receive in an academic environment;
• If the internship is for the benefit of the intern or the employer;
• If the intern is replacing an employee;
• If the company is deriving immediate advantage from the intern’s
• If the intern entitled to full-time employment at the conclusion
of the internship; and • If both the intern and employer understand
this will be an uncompensated position.
If you are currently in an unpaid internship or have questions about accepting
a position as an intern, please contact the dedicated
Georgia employment rights lawyers The Buckley Law Firm, LLC. At our
Atlanta employment law firm, we are dedicated to ensuring workers receive all the compensation they
are entitled to.