Internships are an excellent way to facilitate success for today's workload and tomorrow's workforce. Offering internships at your company adds value and provides many positive benefits for your organization. However, gaining knowledge of the risks and rewards of internships, including the lingering question of paid versus unpaid interns, will help safeguard your company and your employees.
Internships provide several benefits to the intern, the organization, other employees and to the community. The following list includes various perks and benefits a company may experience by offering internships:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is higher among college students and recent graduates. For those young individuals who are unable to find paid work, an unpaid internship might seem like a great method to gain experience and potential future job placement. Likewise, for employers, receiving free labor may be too appealing to ignore. However, there are some legal requirements which employers must be aware of before considering unpaid internships. The Department of Labor has very strict guidelines which must be met before an individual can be classified as an unpaid intern rather than an employee, and therefore be exempt from the minimum wage laws.
Due to the uncertainty of internship legality, Creative Business Solutions recommends having an attorney review your current internship program and evaluate any potential risks. Creative Business Solutions works with many businesses employing interns and would be pleased to discuss the benefits and risks for your business, as well as any other HR related issues your company may be experiencing.
Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., 330 U.S. 148 (1947)
Fair Labor Standards Act