Sponsor A Student Intern
The Employer’s role when sponsoring a Student Intern is as follows:
- Designate a supervisor for the student.
- Provide documentation on company letterhead to the Brookdale Community College Career Center with information regarding the student’s assignment, internship duties, rate of pay*, number of hours per week, name of supervisor, and contact information.
- Assure that work assignments are closely related to the student’s field of study and/or career objectives and that students are scheduled for enough hours to meet the minimum requirement of 45 hours per credit (if the internship is credit-bearing).
- Get input from the student as to what they hope to learn from the experience.
- Clarify for the student your company rules, policies, and the job requirements/expectations.
- Review the student’s progress with them on a regular basis.
- Provide intern with a proper working space and equipment needed for success.
- Complete the evaluation forms provided by Brookdale: the student’s grade and program are contingent upon this.
- Facilitate on-site visits by the student’s faculty representative and/or Career Center representative.
- Inform the Career Center of any changes in the student’s internship status.
- Immediately contact the Career Center if there are any issues.
- Follow the Department of Labor’s requirements for unpaid interns as described below.
*Updated January 2018
Employers must follow the guidelines from the Department of Labor regarding unpaid internships.
Please read the following:
Brookdale’s Career Center widely promotes the value of experiential education through its many cooperative education, internship, and civic engagement offerings. Internships, both paid and unpaid, offer college students first-hand career-related work experience as part of the learning that includes applying knowledge gained in the classroom.
The Test for Unpaid Interns and Students
Courts have used the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA.2 In short, this test allows courts to examine the “economic reality” of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship. Courts have identified the following seven factors as part of the test:
- The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
- The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
- The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
- The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
- The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
- The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
- The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.
Courts have described the “primary beneficiary test” as a flexible test, and no single factor is determinative. Accordingly, whether an intern or student is an employee under the FLSA necessarily depends on the unique circumstances of each case.
If analysis of these circumstances reveals that an intern or student is actually an employee, then he or she is entitled to both minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA. On the other hand, if the analysis confirms that the intern or student is not an employee, then he or she is not entitled to either minimum wage or overtime pay under the FLSA.
Where to Obtain Additional Information
This publication is for general information and is not a regulation. For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).
1 – The FLSA exempts certain people who volunteer to perform services for a state or local government agency or who volunteer for humanitarian purposes for non-profit food banks. WHD also recognizes an exception for individuals who volunteer their time, freely and without anticipation of compensation, for religious, charitable, civic, or humanitarian purposes to non-profit organizations. Unpaid internships for public sector and non-profit charitable organizations, where the intern volunteers without expectation of compensation, are generally permissible.
We suggest that every employer offering unpaid internships, download and make available to all employees the Department of Labor Fact Sheet.
The Career Center reserves the right to deny/remove the posting of any position that is deemed inappropriate or questionable. We reserve the right to refuse an employer’s postings in the system due to any of the following: requiring at the time of application personal information such as bank and social security numbers; misrepresentation by dishonest information or absence of information; fraud; harassment of Brookdale Community College students, alumni or staff; breach of confidentiality; failure to adhere to these policies and/or any violation of Brookdale Community College rules and regulations, and local, state, or federal laws. Brookdale Community College is an Equal Opportunity educational institution. In order to promote this goal, the College makes positive efforts to ensure equal opportunity to all individuals without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status.