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Posted on January 17, 2018

Guidance for Nonprofits Seeking to Use Unpaid Interns

Unpaid interns are often an asset to nonprofits, bringing with them a desire to learn and a passion for the cause of the organization. Although unpaid internships can benefit all involved and are generally permissible in the nonprofit arena, nonprofits should approach these relationships with some degree of caution, taking care to ensure that the primary benefits of the internship accrue to the intern, rather than to the organization. Care must be taken to ensure the required criteria for unpaid internships are met. If the criteria are not satisfied, interns could be employees of the organization who are covered by the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In January of 2018, the United States Department of Labor (US DOL) updated its test for determining when an internship can be unpaid. This article provides guidance about how to determine if your interns can be unpaid under the new test adopted by the US DOL.