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Internships can be a great way to tap into the newest pool of IT talent. But companies offering unpaid internships will want to review the Department of Labor’s new rules on hiring interns.
Many businesses believe they’re offering students an opportunity to learn, while, in the government’s mind, they’re just looking for a way to get free summer labor.
Here are the six things the DOL looks for when deciding if an unpaid internship is legit:
- The internship is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment — even though it includes operations of the employer’s facilities
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern (even if the company benefits, too)
- The intern doesn’t displace regular employees, but works under their supervision
- The employer receives no immediate advantage from the intern
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the end of the internship. In other words, an internship should not be used a trial period before someone’s hired full-time, and
- Both the employer and the intern understand that the intern isn’t entitled to wages.
In general, unpaid interns must come away from the experience with “skills that can be used in multiple employment settings, as opposed to skills particular to one employer’s operation,” the DOL says.
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