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Is Your Unpaid Intern Really an Employee?

When most people think of a Las Vegas or Nevada business, their first thought is “The Strip.” The glitz, the glamour, the celebrities, and the showgirls. Behind all these lights, however, are hotels, nightclubs, and entertainment arenas. Around all these lights are hundreds of other businesses found in every town and every city across the country.

Many Las Vegas and Nevada businesses employ unpaid interns and volunteers. However, are these unpaid interns and volunteers, actually employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? Three recent New York lawsuits by unpaid interns against high-profile employers have brought this issue back into the national public eye.

As guidance for employers, the United States Department of Labor has established a 6-factor Fact Sheet to assist in determining whether an individual is a paid or unpaid intern.

1. The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
4. The employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern;
5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

All or any of these factors do not have to present. However, the more factors that are, the more likely the worker can be treated as an unpaid since the worker, and not the employer, is the primary beneficiary of the arrangements.

The commentary is for educational and commentary purposes only.If you have questions on whether a Las Vegas or Nevada worker qualifies as an unpaid intern or an employee contact Lagomarsino Law. Contact our office for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours. Call Toll Free 866-414-0400.