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Unpaid Internships

Does Your Position Qualify as an Internship?

Whether you are developing an internship program or offering a one-time internship opportunity, you should be aware that The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division developed a six-factor test for determining whether workers are to be considered “interns” or “employees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The guidelines below will help you determine if the position should be considered an unpaid/credit internship or paid part time job. By following these guidelines you will be sure to be in compliance with the criteria set forth by the FLSA.

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in an educational environment.
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  3. The interns do not displace regular employees, but work under close observation.
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the interns and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
  5. The interns are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the internship period.
  6. The employer and the interns understand that the interns are not entitled to wages for the time spent in internship.

Click here to view Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act published by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division for more details.

Click here to view the Barnard College Career Development Employer Unpaid Internship Verification Form.