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Labor Department Releases New Unpaid Internship Guidelines

It's June. Do you know where your unpaid summer interns are?

They'd better not be fetching coffee or sweeping floors. The Department of Labor (DOL) in April released new standards for unpaid internships, saying they should be "similar to training that would be given in an educational environment," and suggesting a college have oversight and/or grant academic credit. The DOL specified five other criteria:

  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  • The intern does not displace regular employees but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  • The employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and on occasion the internship may actually impede its operations;
  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship;
  • The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages.

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Mary Swanton

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