Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act
This fact sheet provides general information to help determine whether interns and students working for “for-profit” employers are entitled to minimum wages and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).1
The FLSA requires “for-profit” employers to pay employees for their work. Interns and students, however, may not be “employees” under the FLSA—in which case the FLSA does not require compensation for their work.
The Test for Unpaid Interns and Students
Courts have used the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA.2 In short, this test allows courts to examine the “economic reality” of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship. Courts have identified the following seven factors as part of the test:
1- The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
2- The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
3- The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
4- The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
5- The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
6- The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
7- The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.
Courts have described the “primary beneficiary test” as a flexible test, and no single factor is determinative. Accordingly, whether an intern or student is an employee under the FLSA necessarily depends on the unique circumstances of each case.
If analysis of these circumstances reveals that an intern or student is actually an employee, then he or she is entitled to both minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA. On the other hand, if the analysis confirms that the intern or student is not an employee, then he or she is not entitled to either minimum wage or overtime pay under the FLSA.
Where to Obtain Additional Information
This publication is for general information and is not a regulation. For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).
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The Office of Career and Personal Development Greensboro College provides an on-line job posting system free of charge to employers and to Greensboro College students and alumni seeking employment opportunities. This service is provided to the College by the College Central Network and the information will reside on College Central Network System.
All hiring and compensation for work performed by student and/or alumni employees are handled directly between them. The Office of Career and Personal Development does not perform background checks on students and/or alumni applying for jobs, nor on employers posting job opportunities. Employers and students/alumni are encouraged to request reference information from each other as needed to establish qualifications/credentials and determine the overall fit between the employer and the applicant.
All job listings are posted at the discretion of the Office of Career and Personal Development and it reserves the right to edit or refuse job announcements for any reason.
The Office of Career and Personal Development provides a referral service and makes no particular recommendations regarding employers or applicants. The goal is to provide accurate posting information. The Office of Career and Personal Development makes no representations or guarantees about positions posted by this office. The Office of Career and Personal Development is not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions, or any other aspect of off-campus employment.
Use of this job posting web site is entirely at the risk of the users and the College expressly disclaims any and all liability with regards to usage of this site. In addition, the Office of Career and Personal Development is not responsible for the content made available through the web links to other web sites. The opinions and views associated with the web sites are not necessarily those of the Office of Career and Personal Development.
Employers, students and alumni are encouraged to provide feedback to the Office of Career and Personal Development regarding their employment experience through use of this service.
Eligibility for Internships at Greensboro College
- Junior or senior status, satisfactory GPA and completion of departmental prerequisites
- Approval of Faculty Advisor, Department Chair, Academic Dean, Director of Career Development, and Dean of Faculty through signed internship contract.
- Each unit of credit requires 45 clock hours of work. Typically, students receive 4 credits requiring an average of 12 clock hours per week, a total of 180 clock hours for the semester (based on a 15 week semester)
- In addition to the internship hours, students, in collaboration with their faculty supervisor, will also be responsible for turning in their integrated academic work throughout the internship experience.
- Students are required to complete the Greensboro College evaluation form with their site supervisor and turn in the completed form to their faculty supervisor by the last day of classes. This evaluation will be a part of the internship grade as determined by the faculty supervisor.
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About Our Services
Our online Employer Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You must register your organization with our office prior to accessing these services. Once your registration is reviewed, if it is approved you will receive an email which includes a link to activate your account.
If approved, depending on your access level, you will be able to use some or all of the services listed below:
- Job Posting
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- Résumé Search
Search résumés of our students, alumni.
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Search career portfolios that have been prepared by our students, alumni.