Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Second Circuit on Unpaid Internships

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

A recent ruling on the legality of unpaid internships may require closer coordination between employers and colleges, experts say.

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that unpaid internships may be legal as long as the intern is the "primary beneficiary" of the intern-employer relationship. The ruling also emphasized that the purpose of the internship should be educational.

In highlighting the educational nature of an internship, the court, using strong language, dismissed what it called a "rigid" list of six points used by the Department of Labor to determine whether an internship was legal. Instead, the court presented a set of seven guidelines, in addition to the primary-beneficiary principle, to consider in evaluating internships.

The guidelines include "the extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal academic work," and the degree to which the internship was similar to an educational environment.

If you have a subscription to the Chronicle, you can read more here. And here is a link to the opinion, which promises to be influential.


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