The Boys of Summer: Interns, Seasonal Workers and More

by Franczek Radelet P.C.

boys in summer_40264674.jpg

Memorial Day weekend has passed, the Major League Baseball season is in full swing, and summer is upon us. With apologies to Roger Kahn, for us wage and hour practitioners, the “Boys of Summer” (and girls!) are the wave of workers joining employer workforces for the next few months. Whether they are interns in your office, lifeguards at your pools and beaches, or the thousands of seasonal hospitality and service workers joining payrolls, if you are adding staff this summer, it’s time for our annual summer reminders.

Complete Form I-9 for Every Worker

Employing seasonal workers does not get you out of this obligation. Not only do you have to complete the form, you have to complete it on time (best practice: before the employee starts work), and you have to complete it exactly as the instructions require. The Form I-9 process is highly technical and full of traps for the unwary employer, and summertime adds even more risks, since the influx of workers can often mean that supervisors and managers with no training are completing I-9s, while others might simply fall through the cracks. I-9 compliance is a challenge in any industry, but especially so in service industries with large immigrant workforces and seasonal staffing. Regularly conducting audits and training staff can help avoid harsh penalties that can range anywhere from up to $1,100 per employee for simple, technical errors to as much as $16,000 per employee for more serious violations. In my experience assisting clients with business immigration matters and I-9 audits, I have seen even the most well-meaning and sophisticated employers (including those with completely legal workforces) get hit with significant fines simply due to technical non-compliance with their I-9 obligations.

Look Again at Whether you Have to Pay Your Summer Interns

Last year, my colleague Mark Wilkinson offered a great overview of the six-factor test that the Department of Labor (DOL) uses to determine whether an internship qualifies as unpaid under the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is worth another look.

Public and non-profit entities still have some latitude here, but private, for-profit businesses’ opportunities to create unpaid internships have shrunk considerably. Given the continued focus by the DOL on this area, and the interest that the issue has drummed up from the plaintiff’s bar, now is a good time to take a hard look at whether your unpaid internship programs still qualify under the DOL’s six-factor test. Particularly because programs change from year-to-year, you need to evaluate your programs each summer to avoid problems. Like other employees (or misclassified contractors), interns cannot contract away their rights under the FLSA or state wage and hour laws. An internship agreement or acknowledgement form tailored to the factors in the test is a good start, but it isn’t enough on its own, even if you and the intern agree. If you have come to rely on substantive contributions and benefits of work from interns each summer or during school semesters, you will likely have a hard time justifying your internship program as unpaid, even if you think every other employer in the industry does the same thing.

Don’t ruin your business’s summer with wage and hour violations! And, oh, go Tigers!


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Franczek Radelet P.C. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Franczek Radelet P.C.

Franczek Radelet P.C. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.