Legal Blog

Telebriefs®: Intern or Employee – Is Your Intern Legally Considered an Employee?

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Fact Sheet on its website to further explain the difference between an intern and an employee. The DOL stressed that the dispositive criterion was whether the internship primarily benefits the employer or the intern. If it benefits the intern, the intern is classified legitimately as an intern and not an employee. However, if it primarily benefits the employer, the DOL would classify the putative intern as an employee. The DOL has noted seven factors to consider in determining whether someone is legitimately classified as an intern. 1) The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation expressed or implied suggests that the intern is an employee and vice versa. 2) The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to what would be provided in an educational environment. 3) The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated course work. 4) The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding with the academic calendar. To learn more about these considerations and the other three factors noted by the DOL, listen to this week’s Telebrief here.

Also in this week’s Telebrief: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed the Obama Board’s decisions on joint employment, and new information regarding enforcement of no solicitation provisions when terminated employees post various announcements on social media platforms.


Questions about interns versus employees, or other topics from this week’s Telebrief?

Contact Howard at or 410-209-6417



About the Telebriefs®

The Telebriefs® are 30-minute, information-packed phone calls geared towards executives, HR directors, supervisors, managers, and business owners. Join Howard K. Kurman, as he discusses employment law developments occurring over the past two weeks that will most significantly impact employers nationwide. These twice-monthly phone calls are an easy way to stay current and compliant with the latest employment law developments that will significantly affect you and your company. The goal is to provide information and insights to help executives stay current with the latest workplace law developments and in front of trends, to enable proactive policy-making and management. Our guarantee: You will learn something useful, on every call!


Howard Kurman | 410-209-6417

Howard K. Kurman is an employment attorney. Mr. Kurman regularly counsels clients on all aspects of proactive employment/labor issues. He represents employers ranging in size from as small as 20 employees to those employers with geographically disparate locations consisting of over 4,000 employees. Mr. Kurman assures, through regular contact with his clients, that they promulgate and maintain the most effective employment policies that will, to the extent possible, minimize their legal exposure in today’s litigious workplace. Mr. Kurman offers advice on employee handbooks, employment agreements, and covenants not to compete as well as confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. Previously, Mr. Kurman was the chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.

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