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DOL weighs in on intern compensation

January 31, 2018
2:43 PM

There is a new standard for paying interns and students for their work, and it appears to provide more flexibility for employers in the treatment of interns. 

The change stems from an updated U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet, which outlines a “primary beneficiary test” to determine if an intern or student is an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While the test is considered “flexible,” if it reveals that an intern or student is actually an employee, then he or she is entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA.

As an aside, if you're considering an internship program for your agency (it's a great way to expose young people to the industry!), review our October 2017 Primary Agent article, "Is an intern right for your agency?

Keep up with the changing human resources landscape – and the case law, legislation and regulations that alter it – by reviewing our HR Bulletins, including FED #53, which highlights the new standard for determining if an intern must be paid. 

Review all HR Bulletins

In other employment news, there are several pending changes on the horizon:

  1. The Trump Administration likely will rescind work permits for spouses of H-1B visa workers early this year.
  2. The National Labor Relations Board this year may overturn four Obama-era decisions, which impact employers’ ability to:
  • Terminate an employee who refers to his supervisor on Facebook in obscene language
  • Restrict use of its email system to work only
  • Prohibit off-duty employees from picketing on its property directly in front of its doorways
  • Suspend or terminate an employee before entering into a collective bargaining agreement without bargaining with a newly certified union over the decision

Stay tuned to Agent Headlines. And as always, look to our HR consultant, Karen DiGioia, for guidance.


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Insurance Placement Specialist David Wertz is a licensed agent who can help protect your agency.

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