Dallas employment lawyer Keith Clouse has written before about the strict standards employers must meet if they intend to hire unpaid summer interns. In essence, the internship must be set up for the benefit of the intern or else a for-profit company must pay the intern. Some employers ignore this standard, thinking that a college student who is looking for a post-college job would never challenge the employer’s decision not to pay for internship work. But, plaintiff lawyers have begun seeking out interns and convincing them to file class action lawsuits against employers.
The obvious way to avoid such a lawsuit is to pay interns. While an employer might think that offering low wages to a college student would be insulting, it stands to reason that most students who are willing to work for free would also be willing to work for minimum wage. Not to mention, paying a few interns minimum wage would be far cheaper than paying the legal fees associated with litigating a wage and hour lawsuit. Another option would be to redesign the internship program so that it complies with the federal regulations but still offers the employer insight into the interns’ potential.
To discuss a wage and hour matter with an employment law attorney, contact an employment lawyer in your area. This article is presented by Mr. Clouse and the Dallas, Texas employment law attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. For inquiries, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (214) 239-2705.