Summertime has arrived with all of its accompaniments: warmer weather, longer days and interns. Many employers rely on unpaid interns for summer help without realizing how employment law applies to them and the intern. “Employers need to look very closely at whether or not to use unpaid interns,” cautioned Matthew S. Disbrow of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP in Detroit. “Having an intern in and of itself is not a problem — just when the intern is not paid.” Unpaid interns are an area of focus for the Department of Labor, explained Terry Bonnette of Nemeth Burwell in Detroit. The agency is concerned about the potential exploitation of workers seeking to gain a toehold in an industry by offering to work for free.
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