On the “business” instead of the “intellectual property” side of IP Spotlight, I thought that the readers of this blog would find a recent article relating to unpaid internships interesting. Startups, small companies, and others who may have students provide a temporary helping hand this summer should consider that the failure to pay interns who provide services that benefit the employers may risk attention from the Department of Labor.
In the article, my colleagues Susan Lessack and Kali Wellington write:
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has been and will continue to be more aggressive in policing violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires the payment of minimum wage and overtime to covered, non-exempt employees. One exception to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements is that a for-profit, private sector employer may hire individuals for internships or training programs without compensation if the internship is primarily for the interns’ educational benefit.
The article lists six criteria that must be met for the internship exception to apply. The full article is available at this link on the Pepper Hamilton website.