Unpaid internship attorney advocate: The Legal Requirements of an Unpaid Internship
Why should I be concerned about my unpaid internship?
The reality is that lawful unpaid internships are a rarity. Several laws outline the standards by which every worker should be paid. Examples include the United States Fair Labor Standards Act and the Wage Payment and Collection Law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Employers are exploiting interns by not paying them, violating these laws. Look out for warning signs of an illegal unpaid internship.
Unpaid interns are often legally entitled to wages and can take legal action to recover their wages and any damages they may be entitled to. Exploited interns are encouraged to contact a KM&A unpaid internship attorney right away. We pride ourselves on being extremely accessible and dedicated to our clients’ needs and interests.
What is a legitimate unpaid internship? Do I need an unpaid internship attorney?
In determining the legality of an unpaid internship, the Department of Labor and any unpaid internship attorney will consider the following 6 criteria:
Is your internship education similar to training that would be given in an educational setting?
This is an important question. Most employers fail to structure their unpaid internship programs as formal training programs. Because of this, many unpaid internship programs fail to meet the test and, therefore, are illegal.
Does your employer receive the primary benefit?
In an unpaid internship, you should be receiving the primary benefit. An unpaid internship attorney will be able to tell who is receiving the primary benefit.
If not for your internship, would your employer hire someone else to do the work?
Some employers exploit unpaid interns by having them do work that other employees should be doing. Your duties as an unpaid intern should not be those of an entry-level employee. You should be supervised by employees, but not be wholly responsible for their work.
Is there any immediate advantage for the employer?
An immediate advantage for your employer is a red flag that your unpaid internship is unlawful. In fact, your employer’s operations may actually be impeded occasionally due to your inexperience.
Are you guaranteed a job at the end of your internship?
Being guaranteed a job at the conclusion of your internship is another red flag to an unpaid internship attorney. Legal unpaid internships do not always guarantee employment. If you are guaranteed a job, the employer may be training you as an entry-level employee under the guise of an unpaid internship.
Do you and your employer understand that you will not be paid for the work you will do during your internship?
Both parties should be aware that your position as an intern is unpaid. If you may have been exploited by an employer, talk to an unpaid internship attorney right away.
Talk to an Unpaid Internship Attorney
Even asking yourself these questions, you may be unsure whether you should have been paid. Do not hesitate to contact an unpaid internship attorney for a free and immediate consultation. The attorneys at Kraemer, Manes & Associates are outstanding advocates for their clients who will defend your rights under the law. Well versed in both federal and Pennsylvania law, a KM&A unpaid internship attorney will fight to ensure you are awarded all wages you deserve.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a law firm serving all of Pennsylvania with offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Call KM&A in western Pennsylvania at 412-626-5626 or in eastern Pennsylvania at 610-616-5686. KM&A can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.