Fair Labor Standards Act Regulations
As of 2018: The following six requirements must be satisfied for an individual to be properly classified as an intern:
1) The trainees or student are notified, in writing, that they will not receive any wages and are not considered employees for minimum wage purposes;
2) any clinical training is performed under the supervision and direction of people who are knowledgeable and experienced in the activity;
3) The trainees or students do not receive employee benefits;
4) the training is general, and qualifies trainees or students to work in any similar business—it is not designed specifically for a job with the employer that offers the program;
5) the screening process for the internship program is not the same as for employment, and does not appear to be for that purpose—the screening only uses criteria relevant for admission to an independent educational program; and
6) Advertisements, postings or solicitations for the program clearly discuss education or training, rather than employment, although employers may indicate that qualified graduates may be considered for employment.
- The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
- The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
- The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
- The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
- The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.
***If these factors are met then the worker is a ‘trainee,’ an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the worker.
USDOL (Federal) Fact Sheet #71-Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act: