LEGAL ISSUES TO CONSIDER WHEN HOSTING AN INTERN
(Information based on a workshop on legal issues in experiential education, conducted by Michael B. Goldstein, Esq. , head of the Higher Education, Public Telecommunications, and Government Relations Practice of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Dow, Lohnes & Albertson, and serving as the general counsel for the National Society of Experiential Education.)
What general duties do the members of a three-way internship owe eachother?
The Work Site and the Educational Institution owe to the Student access to an appropriate placement in a reasonably safe environment where the student will be provided with adequate supervision and the necessary tools and equipment to perform the intended services that will result in agreed upon compensation and agreed upon academic rewards (if any).
- The Student owes to the Work Site and the Educational Institution accurate information about his or her skills and experience (including apprising of any physical or mental limitations) so that the student can competently carry out the work assigned and meet the academic requirements of the program (if any).
- The Educational Institution owes to the Work Site placement of the student in an appropriate assignment informing the work site of any physical or mental limitations, and providing necessary academic support and oversight.
The Work Site owes the Educational Institution accurate description of the nature and requirements of the assignment, provision of adequate resources for the performance of the assigned work in a reasonably safe environment with adequate supervision, agreed upon compensation, and adequate opportunity for the student to meet his or her academic requirements (if any).
St. Olaf College students are required to complete a student release from, available upon request. Other issues to consider are: Civil Rights, Compensation (minimum wage, stipend), Liability, Confidentiality and Unemployment (the intern shouldn’t be eligible for unemployment after the internship is over)
Find Federal Guidelines for Unpaid Internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) here.These observations do not constitute legal advice. For advice about specific questions, you should talk with an attorney who is familiar with both labor law and educational law.