Chapter 23: Using student interns

Many creative teams include student interns. This is especially true in companies that are looking for ways to reduce expenses. In a design firm, payroll is always the largest expense by far. One popular strategy for reducing payroll costs is to seek out free labor in the form of student interns. However, design firm owners need to be aware that a number of federal and state laws apply to unpaid internship programs. If certain criteria are not met, then interns must be paid.

A complaint by an intern seeking compensation can trigger an audit by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or your own state’s Division of Labor Standards. If a complaint is filed and an audit reveals a significant ...

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