Are Interns Entitled To Minimum Wage?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a U.S. federal law that protects employees from being paid too little or nothing by their employer. This law applies to employees within any state of the United States, the District of Columbia or any territory or possession of the United States. According to the Federal Department of Labor, FLSA "defines the term ‘employ’ very broadly as including to ‘suffer or permit to work’". This would entitle any employee to be protected by the FLSA and they must be compensated for their time at a rate at least equal to the minimum wage. Recently, Courts have considered whether interns, many of whom are unpaid, should be considered employees and entitled to a minimum wage.
Unpaid interns are entitled to a minimum wage unless the employer complies with six criteria:

1. The training must be of the type provided in an educational setting;
2. The internship must benefit the intern;
3. The intern cannot be used to replace other employees and must be closely supervised by existing employees;
4. The employer must not benefit from the intern’s work immediately;
5. The internship cannot be used as a test period after which the intern would be entitled to a job; and,
6. The employer and the intern must both understand that there is no entitlement to wages for the duration of the internship.

If an employer fails to meet these criteria then the intern must be paid at least the minimum wage. The Rose Law Group PLLC fights for the right to be properly compensated for work done. If you would like to have your situation evaluated through a free consultation, call The Rose Law Group PLLC at (718) 989-1864.