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Utilizing Unpaid Internship Programs

Unpaid internship programs can provide numerous benefits to your organization. Interns often bring energy and excitement into the workplace resulting in a positive affect on employee morale. They allow employees who may not have the opportunity to mentor regularly to do so, adding greater fulfillment to their positions. Finally, if structured properly, unpaid internships can take non-critical activities off of your busy employees and allow them to focus on more critical tasks. The Department of Labor has specific guidelines that you have to meet to ensure the position qualifies as unpaid versus paid:

  • Training is similar to the vocation or study they receive in school
  • Training is for benefit of trainee
  • Training does not displace regular employees
  • Trainee is not necessarily entitled to jobs at the end
  • Trainer and trainee understand that trainee is not entitled to wages for time spent in training

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