It’s Summer Time: Are You Required to Pay Your Intern?

/ Employment Lawyer – Attorney Keith Clouse/ 08/11/2011

As students prepare to return to school, many are seeking to obtain work experience during the semester, even if it means taking an unpaid internship. However, employers need to understand their obligations when an internship is unpaid and when it is not. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) an internship will be viewed as employment when the intern is providing services to “for-profit” sector employers. Interns that are within this “for-profit” sector must be paid minimum wage and overtime compensation, unless the 6-part test for an unpaid intern is met.


The following 6-part test must be applied when determining whether an internship is paid or unpaid:


1.        The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;


2.        The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;


3.        The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;


4.        The employer that proves the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern;

         and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;


5.        The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; AND


6.       The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time

         spent in the internship.


Under the FLSA, if this 6-part test is met an internship will not be viewed as employment, but rather an unpaid internship or training program. For more information on unpaid internships view the Fact Sheet on unpaid internships under FLSA here.


To speak to Keith Clouse or to another Dallas employment law attorney about paying interns or any other employment issue, please contact the Dallas employment lawyers at [email protected].

Press Release Contact Information:


Clouse Dunn LLP

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