Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP
Free Consultations 626-381-9261

Should you be paid in your 'unpaid' internship?

The summer is an ideal time for college students to have internships with potential employers after college. While the experience is paramount for the student (and to the employer, to a certain extent) most of the internships offered are unpaid.

But are unpaid internships legal?

This obviously depends on the specific situation, but employers should be mindful of state and federal laws that protect employees, especially interns. Unpaid internships are fraught with peril if they do not comply as employers could be subject to a host of wage and hour violations. This post will highlight a few of the criteria used by the U.S. Department of Labor to determine if an unpaid internship is in compliance with federal law. 

Training comparable to classroom – In order to be unpaid, the internship must center on training that similar to (or an extension of) the education given in a classroom environment.

The intern must benefit from the job – The intern must receive school credit for the internship that will help in satisfying credits towards graduation.

Regular employees can still work – Unpaid interns must not displace regular employees, and the interns must work under close supervision of an existing staff member.

Ultimately, employers cannot circumvent federal minimum wage laws and other employee protections by simply calling workers “interns.” If you are beginning an internship program and have concerns about whether you should be paid, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you.

The preceding is not legal advice and does not initiate an attorney-client relationship. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • Top Listed In Best Lawyers | The World's Premier Guide
    • Americas Top 100 2017 | Criminal Defense Attorneys
    • AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings
    • Super Lawyers | Rising Stars 2018
    • Best Lawyers US News 2016
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 40 Under 40
    • proud fellow of american bar foundation
    • 2018 Top 100 Lawyer ASLA
    • SuperLawyers Rising Stars 2018

Have You Been Victimized?

Speak to an attorney who will fight for you.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Pasadena Office
128 N. Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 204
Pasadena, CA 91103

Phone: 626-585-9600
Fax: 626-577-7079
Map & Directions

Downtown Los Angeles Office (Legal Fund)
250 1st Street, Suite 1201
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: 213-785-6999
Map & Directions

Free Consultations

Tel: 626-381-9261
Toll-free: 866-457-2590