Internships are becoming more crucial for a student’s job market competitiveness following graduation. While many internships are paid (either by an hourly wage or stipend), many are unpaid and offer priceless experiences within a student’s field of interest. Most internships hosted by non-profit organizations are unpaid, however IU East encourages the same DOL criteria listed below, be applied to all unpaid internships.
Both paid and unpaid internship programs are subject to applicable federal and state labor regulations. The following six criteria from the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71 must be applied when making the determination for an unpaid internship provided by a “for-profit” private sector business:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
- 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 that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.