Are You "Hiring" Unpaid Interns This Summer? Proceed With Caution.
Welcome to the first day of summer!
In many workplaces, summer marks the return of student interns, clerks and volunteers. As employment opportunities remain scarce, students are eager to find meaningful experience and credentials, even without pay.
Unfortunately for employers, scrutiny of unpaid internships is increasing. Groups of interns have sued various companies seeking minimum wage, overtime and expense reimbursements, leading Time magazine to forecast "The Beginning of the End of the Unpaid Internship."
Cautious employers should scrutinize their internship and volunteer programs to avoid problems. Failure to properly classify unpaid interns can have a substantial cost. Employers may be liable for unpaid wages for all hours worked (both straight time and overtime), unpaid employment taxes, and attorneys’ fees. Take a moment to review our comprehensive post on the subject, "Interns & Volunteers: Do We Really Have To Pay Them?" and consider whether your internship pay practices are legally compliant.
If you have questions about paying interns or volunteers, please contact our Employment and Labor Relations attorneys.