It's no secret that today's economy is tough. The result? Business vets are joining this year's crop of students as fall interns. They will work away – often for free – in hopes of a future job, a resumé builder and even to sample "the real world."
There is just one problem – in many cases, this is illegal. Just last year the Labor Department issued a very specific crackdown regarding unpaid employees – a six-point checklist on just how far an internship can go before requiring a business to pay up by at least offering minimum wage. The six criteria a business must meet in order to allow unpaid internships are:
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 derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern – and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded...
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