Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Do interns have a right to employment compensation?

Whether working toward graduation or fresh out of college, experience is needed to get a good job to go along with a degree. In order to gain the necessary experience, students or new graduates pursue internship opportunities to grow their resumes. These internships can be great; however, some business owners in California may take advantage of the situation and end up with employees they do not have to pay. Employment compensation may be available to interns in such cases.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, interns are not considered employees; therefore, employers are not required to pay them. Most people know this. What some people may not know is that the internship has to benefit the intern more than it helps the employer for the intern to be refused payment for hours worked.

Most internships have mutual benefits for the intern and the business owner. In order to determine if the intern is the primary beneficiary of the arrangement, though, one can take the primary beneficiary test. The intern is deemed the primary beneficiary if:

  • He or she is aware the job comes without compensation
  • He or she received training comparable to education that would be received at school
  • The internship offers academic credit
  • The position accommodates his or her academic schedule
  • The internship is a temporary arrangement
  • The intern's job does not replace that of a paid employee

Those in California who believe that they are being taken advantage of by the business owners for whom they intern do not have to sit back and take it. The law allows these individuals to seek fair employment compensation for their time. Legal counsel can review the specific details of one's situation and, under the right circumstance, help one seek compensation and any other available damages.

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Law Offices of Louis Spitters
96 North 3rd Street
Suite 500
San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: 408-780-1920
Phone: 408-293-0463
Fax: 408-293-9514
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