Unpaid Internships must Comply with Six Federal Requirements to Avoid Violating Wage and Hour Laws.

To have unpaid interns, employers must comply with six federal legal criteria. Three such criteria most often overlooked are: (1) internships must pertain to the training unpaid interns receive at their vocational schools, (2) employers must not receive immediate advantages by having such interns, and (3) unpaid interns must not displace paid workers. If any of these or the other three criteria are not satisfied, the intern will be considered an employee and they must be paid minimum wages and overtime. An official at the Labor Department has warned that there are few circumstances in which a for-profit employer can have an unpaid intern and still comply with the law.

“Workweeks” May Be Changed By Employers.

Calculating overtime pay is more complicated when employees tend to work longer shifts toward the end of an established workweek than at the beginning of that workweek. The amount of overtime may depend on where the workweek begins. Most employers utilize form policies that establish Monday through Sunday workweeks. This standard designation may not be best suited to minimize a particular company’s overtime responsibility. Employers are not required to designate workweeks in order to maximize overtime pay. However, a decision to change an established workweek policy and the implementation of any such change should be handled with care.

Are Employers required to give an extra day off for every holiday worked by an employee?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to provide an extra day off for employees that work on holidays. For employers that elect to establish such a holiday policy, that policy should be consistent with any other relevant state or local laws, employment contracts, and collective bargaining agreements. Some questions that should be answered in the holiday policy include: how does an employee qualify for the extra day off? How quickly must the extra day be taken? And, how many days must they work to become eligible?