Criteria for Unpaid Internships

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Jun 20, 2011 in , , | No Comments

U.S. Dept. of Labor set criteria for unpaid internships last year.

Do you know what they are?

Due to complaints about internships for students and grads–duties from sweeping floors to wiping door handles–hardly considered valid internships, these standards are welcome relief. But will these new standards hinder those wanting experience?

The Chronicle of Higher Education has fears that the criteria set by the Department of Labor will severely limit internship opportunities. Judge for yourself…

The following six criteria are from the U.S. Department of Labor’s website:

  1. 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;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. 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;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Unfortunately, when abuses are reported, obviously standards must be set to ensure internships remain a valid way for students and grads to obtain valuable experience. Interns should educate themselves regarding the criteria and protect themselves from abuses. See the U.S. Department of Labor’s website for more information.