The "Starving" Intern: Legal Ins & Outs of Unpaid Internships

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Everyone remembers the first day of their highly touted unpaid internship — nerves twitching, heart racing, palms sweating, eager to perform any mundane task with the utmost perfection to impress a new supervisor. For many, especially in art, fashion, and entertainment, these internships are an individual's big break, granting entrance to a career of their dreams by providing hands-on experience and access to priceless networking opportunities. While unpaid internships have seemingly been a mainstay of the creative industries — even Stephen Spielberg, Tom Ford, and Sylvia Plath found themselves fetching coffee at one point — many other for-profit employers are venturing down the unpaid internship route. What many employers would be surprised to learn is that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's ("DOL") Wage and Hour Division, there are very few circumstances where a for-profit employer can offer an unpaid internship and still be in compliance with the law. With a struggling economy and a significant increase in unpaid internship programs offered by for-profit employers, this issue has been thrust into the spotlight. Internships are increasingly becoming a crucial component of the business world, and while employers can provide an invaluable opportunity for interns, state and federal regulators across the country are focusing on ensuring employers are not taking advantage of wide-eyed, eager students looking to jumpstart their career.

To determine whether an internship program exempts an employer from having to compensate an intern in accordance with California's minimum wage coverage (codified in Labor Code §1171 et seq., IWC Orders 1 through 17), California's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ("DLSE") abides by the six criteria set forth by the Department of Labor ("DOL")....

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

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.

© Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP on:

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:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.