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Unpaid Internship/Unpaid Training Before Hire? Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon

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  • Unpaid Internship/Unpaid Training Before Hire? Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon

    I found this site while trying to look up laws for Oregon. My 19 year old son recently answered a Craigslist ad for a retail "post office" type store. In the ad, it said compensation was for 8.80 to 10.00 per hour and no mention of internship. They asked him to come in for an interview and told him to come in to work and train, and be an "intern". Which is unpaid. I just found out about this, after he had been working for about 35+ hours. He is doing register and learning boxing and packaging. He really wants this job and says that the manager gave him a three week internship period - at the end of three weeks he can be hired. they even gave him a W2 form and paperwork to fill out to deposit his checks. But he is working for free until then? This sounds so weird. I've tried to look up the laws on this. He is being supervised, but a lot of the job he is doing is clerical. It's shipping and receiving basically, and it was through Craigslist. The store is a franchise of a larger chain. I did email them, and they said they have no guidelines and said to speak to our DOLA. Which I will do tomorrow. Has anyone heard of something like this? It sounds like unpaid work/training to me. He really likes this job, but does not want to work for free. I don't want to hurt his chances of getting a job, but at the same time I don't want him to get screwed over. It's weird. Any feedback would help. Should my husband talk to the manager? My son says he spoke to the manager and was told that "he really likes him" and "would try to get him on sooner". I have no idea what that means.

  • #2
    Under the FLSA, individuals who are "suffered or permitted" to work must be compensated for the services they perform. The DOL most often views internships in the for-profit private sector as compensable employment, unless participants qualify as trainees, and not employees.

    To determine whether an individual is a trainee, employers need to assess each situation according to a six-factor test, developed by the DOL. Each factor must be satisfied in order for a for-profit, private-sector employer to legally offer an individual an unpaid internship.

    Factor #1: The internship is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment, even though it includes the actual operation of the facilities of the employer.

    Factor #2: The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.

    Factor #3: The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.

    Factor #4: The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and, on occasion, its operations may actually be impeded.


    Factor #5: The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.

    Factor #6: The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      You son is 19 and an adult. While you can coach your son and gather information on the law for him, it is up to your son to discuss this issue with his boss. The boss should not be discussing your son's employment with either you or your husband.

      I know it is tough (I have a 19 year old daughter) to see your child having a problem and you want to help but he needs to learn to do it himself.

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      • #4
        Good point HRinMA. You & your husband can help with finding the law on interns but your son really needs to handle the situation at work/with his boss himself.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          Totally agree that Mom and Dad need to sit this one out and let junior handle it on his own. He is the only one with standing to bring any kind of claim and it is incredibly off putting to any manager to feel like you hired on the whole family. Same goes for interferring spouses and adult children. It would be entirely legal to fire your son because Mom and Dad are hassling them about their adult child's employment. If he is old enough to find a job on his own and is over 18, he needs to be mature enough to solve this.

          First of all, he needs to make sure he is really going unpaid for those three weeks and the employer doesn't just pay in arrears. It is very common for the first check to be delayed by up to a month from the start of employment. This is especially true in settings which employ a large number of nonexempt employees (those paid hourly).
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            Thanks back

            I agree with all of your responses; this is his game. I would like to have him speak to the owner on his own, but be prepared to ask exact questions. One of the things that makes this a little difficult is that the owner is foreign and this is a new franchise and so some things may be getting lost in translation or perhaps even the owner may be unaware of the law. What questions should he be asking?

            1) Is the work he is doing now absolutely unpaid and not just delayed until after training?

            2) Is this considered unpaid training and will he be hired after the three weeks of training?

            3) Will he be compensated in any way for the three weeks of "internship" training?

            I'm trying to find questions that would help him with any potential labor dispute - if there is one. Seeing that this is a shipping/receiving job, it's difficult to see where there would be any educational factor involved. He said he has already learned the register and packaging pieces and I've told him to just make sure that he keeps exact count of the time he works, and make sure to clock in and out.



            Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
            Totally agree that Mom and Dad need to sit this one out and let junior handle it on his own. He is the only one with standing to bring any kind of claim and it is incredibly off putting to any manager to feel like you hired on the whole family. Same goes for interferring spouses and adult children. It would be entirely legal to fire your son because Mom and Dad are hassling them about their adult child's employment. If he is old enough to find a job on his own and is over 18, he needs to be mature enough to solve this.

            First of all, he needs to make sure he is really going unpaid for those three weeks and the employer doesn't just pay in arrears. It is very common for the first check to be delayed by up to a month from the start of employment. This is especially true in settings which employ a large number of nonexempt employees (those paid hourly).

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            • #7
              Intern is a VERY narrow exception under the federal FLSA law, and based on what has been said, this is not it. At a minimum there must be a formal program at a university involved with the university managing the program.

              Paying late and not paying at all are legally two very different things. Ignore meaningless terms such as intern and training. The employee must be paid (at least) minimum wage for hours actual worked. What very few exceptions that exist to that rule almost certainly do not exist here. If the employer does not pay for hours worked no matter what meaningless excuses are given, the solution is for the employee to file a federal or state wage claim.

              The employee needs to start keeping a record of all time worked. Start/stop times as well as total hours worked by day. Do so at home. Do not use employer computers or internet access to accomplish this. Pen and paper work just fine. Should a wage claim be filed, this documentation will be needed.

              The employee needs to not tell other employees what he is doing. So-called work friends are not necessarily friends at all. Anything any employee says or does at work for any reason should be assumed to be promptly brought to the boss's attention. This will likely not be the last sketchy employer your son will run into. He needs to know what the actual labor law rules are and how to handle things.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                Your son just needs to ask when he will be paid and how the payperiods operate. The franchise owner may not be the person to ask. Owners do not always know payroll which is why they often hire a payroll person. You don't buy a business because you enjoy doing payroll. He should ask where he can refer questions about payroll issues, then ask that person about the pay schedule.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                Comment

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