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Does an Unpaid Internship Count as Employment

An internship is generally a temporary learning opportunity for candidates or recent graduates who want to gain experience in a particular field. An internship is a short-duration course that is offered by many companies. It can also be considered as the opportunity for a senior employee who is unemployed and looking to make a career change to avoid the resume gap and interested in gaining the experience while auditioning for any particular job openings at the company. The internship being pursued is a short-term arrangement, such as year-round or during a school term. It can also be pursued in summer vacation or in between the professional project. After completing the tasks assigned during the internship, an intern gets experience from the company and other related benefits. Till now the intern is not qualified as an employee but still needs some instruction and training. Many common doubts arise in the mind of unpaid interns that come to their mind are- Which companies are providing the internship program, How to get the internship program, and many more such questions. The next big question that arises in their mind is Does an Internship Count as Employment?

Some organizations hire applicants if they possess some training and industry knowledge and can provide some of the value beyond simply making copies and running errands. Some of the companies do not get much from internships, but they are interested to help prepare the next generation of employees while they are still in college or school. It is most common for organizations to look for unpaid interns to do some of the assigned duties that need to be completed. The typical qualification of an intern is often a student who is looking for a particular program that matches the skills while still in school. Many students are not even worried about being paid because they are looking for valuable work experience that will be beneficial to them in the future and at the same time they are also worried that whether the internship will be considered an employee’s or not. An internship can be considered as an employment, depending on the type of work and the definition of “employment” someone is looking for. Understanding how different internships can be considered as employment is very crucial and one must be aware of the fact.

Paid Versus Unpaid Internships

Most of the internships offer benefits and wages while others do not provide anything. Most of the unpaid internships are supposed to provide learning experiences that will help the intern to improve the chance of landing a perfect job in that particular field. This is the plus point of the opportunity to gain experience while working in the same profession as to make sure that this is the right choice for the applicant and to get real-world work experience. Many organizations and accredited universities combine internships with course credit.

Paid Internships will not provide the same benefits and wages as full-time employment, but the intern can cover the expenses of the internship. Some internship programs pay well enough to the hired students and allow them to save money to use for expenses for college purposes.

Contractor Versus Employee

An internship may or may not be counted as employment can be a matter of law or semantics. In the former case, the applicant will often be able to say you were employed as an intern in the organization and worked for the company and can still put the job stint on the resume. In some of the cases, the student must follow all the related laws concerning the use of interns. The student must always note that the job was an internship that is to be transparent with potential employers.

Internships As Legal Employment

The paid or unpaid internship will be considered as employment completely depending upon the state. It gives increased legal protection and other access to benefits such as workers’ compensation and other unemployment benefits if the student is terminated or injured at the time of job. When a student is paid for the internship, the company needs to payroll taxes out of the paycheck each period, it is the same as it does with the full-time employees. But if the student is not paid for the internship then there is no payroll of taxes and may or may not be considered as employment. All the organizations that use unpaid interns must follow the legal rules for an unpaid internship.

Are Unpaid Internships Bad?

With all the focus on the minimum wage practices over the last few years, unpaid internships have faced scrutiny all over the United States. It must be kept in mind that unpaid internships often lead to lucrative and long careers in the person’s chosen area. The unpaid internship that operates with the state and federal guidelines can be beneficial to both the intern and the employer. However, there are many times when a company’s employer take the advantage of unpaid interns in violation of federal and state law.

While working as an intern in the companies provides various benefits to the employer and to the student, unpaid interns are quickly becoming the modern-day equivalent of the entry-level employees, are always taken advantage of financially. So anyone who is working as an unpaid intern and if you believe that the employer is violating federal and state law, then it is a good idea to contact an employment law attorney in Orange County as soon as possible.