Fair Labor Standards Act on Internship Programs
Paid versus Unpaid Internships
If your organization supports unpaid internships, Seton Hall University's Career Center recommends that all organizations review the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act on Internship Programs.
It is strongly preferred that organizations pay interns for work performed.
If your organization is unable to offer a paid internship, please consider helping the student with a stipend or expenses related to their internship such as transportation costs, meals, etc.
Unpaid internships will not violate the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act if it is a training program which meets the following criteria:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.