With summer fast approaching, many companies are preparing for the arrival of the many high school and college students who will be starting unpaid internships. Prior to the first day of these internships, companies should review their program to make sure it is compliant with applicable wage and hour laws, or else they could be facing the same intense scrutiny and legal attacks many other companies with similar programs have had to face in recent years.
With the DOL’s Fact Sheet #71 at hand, employers should review and confirm if their program meets all six criteria in regards to the employer-intern relationship. If their program does not meet the six criteria listed, employers should plan to reconfigure their internship program now or else be prepared to classify and pay interns as if they were employees to avoid any future lawsuits. Employers in the state of New York should take note that there are an additional eleven partially duplicative factors that must be met in addition to the six included in Fact Sheet #71.
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