Note that unpaid internships are generally allowed for public sector employers and non-profit organizations when the intern enrolls voluntarily and does not expect to be paid. “We recommend that employers get something in writing, preferably with the school, that sets everyone`s expectations,” Orr said. “You should consider having a letter that says no compensation is expected, that the internship is limited to a useful learning period, and that in the end there is no promise of employment. If you get these three things in writing and get them through, you`ll be in good shape. Orr added that working with a formal education program that combines the internship with the intern`s academic progress is another good idea. If employers still want to continue with an unpaid internship program, they should make sure it has a strong educational component. “This test is more employer-friendly than the DOL test and focuses more on the extent to which the internship program is tied to an academic pursuit,” Olson said. The revised rules must take into account the fact that trainees are eligible for non-monetary benefits. Under the previous test, an unpaid intern could not do productive work, Olson explained. “It wasn`t really beneficial for the intern. Unpaid interns literally had to be spectators in the workplace. The new test changes that. Think of someone working on their journalism degree and ending with a series of clips at the end of an unpaid internship at a media company.
The company benefits from the publication of articles and the trainee benefits from the advantage of a byline, training and collaboration with professionals in his field. But the company invests much more than it can get out of its relationship. For example, she said, it`s highly unlikely that companies will take on the risk, costs, and inconveniences of an internship program without any benefit — so it`s difficult to complete the fourth part of the test. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has a six-factor test that requires meeting the following criteria for an unpaid internship: Some observers predict that unpaid internships could increase after the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) relaxes its standards for intern compensation, but there are plenty of questions employers must answer before following the unpaid path. The DOL launched on January 5, a rigid and six-part test that had to be carried out before the trainees left without pay. In its place, the department has created a “primary pre-beneficiary test” to determine if interns are employees. .