Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

When school is out, many students and new graduates look to gain real-world experience through internships.

However, an employer hoping to take advantage of these interns as a source of free labor should think twice. Unless an internship satisfies strict criteria, interns must be treated like employees, meaning they must be paid the minimum wage and overtime.

A prominent lawsuit in 2013 brought widespread attention to the issue, so an employer that operates an unpaid internship should be prepared for the possibility of a copycat lawsuit.

XpertHR offers the following Tools and resources to help an employer that is considering an unpaid internship.

Unpaid Interns and Trainees Under the FLSA

How To

How to Structure an Unpaid Internship or Training Program

Employment Law Manual

Employee Classification > Trainees and Interns

Managing Employees in Special Situations > Volunteers, Interns and University Externs

Recruiting and Hiring > Terms of Employment > Determination of Whether an Employer-Employee Relationship Exists


Does an employer have to pay interns?