The U.S. Department of Labor established the following 6 criteria in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to determine if an internship or training program can be excluded from the minimum wage requirement.
- 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;
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
(Note: The FLSA makes a special exemption for individuals who volunteer for a state or local government agency and for individuals who volunteer for humanitarian, religious, charitable, civic purposes to non-profit organizations.)
If you have any questions regarding unpaid internships, please contact the Career and Job Services Center at 323-415-4126.