Tag Archives: trainee

Eleventh Circuit Adopts Second Circuit’s “Primary Beneficiary” Test to Determine Compensability of Internships

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit last week adopted the Second Circuit’s “primary beneficiary” test as the appropriate test for determining whether an unpaid clinical intern was truly an “employee” within the meaning of the FLSA. Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, P.A., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16194 (11th Cir. 2015). In rejecting the test … Continue Reading

Consistent With Recent Decisions, Maryland Judge Finds Vocational School Students Not FLSA “Employees”

Like interns, vocational students often provide some degree of service as part of their vocational program. For this reason, such arrangements are susceptible to the allegation that these services are compensable “work time” under the FLSA. While such allegations have been made in some recent cases, in the first handful of these to reach decision, … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Federal Court: Cosmetology Student Not An “Employee” Entitled To Minimum Wage

Last week, a Pennsylvania federal judge held that a former cosmetology school student was not entitled to minimum wage as an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law. Jochim v. Jean Madeline Educ. Ctr. of Cosmetology, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45663 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 8, 2015). … Continue Reading

Origins of Wage-and-Hour Jurisprudence: Portland Terminal

Many current FLSA compensation issues which are the subject of widespread litigation – such as the current wave of intern cases – have their legal underpinnings in Supreme Court authority decided during the 1940s in the years following the enactment of the FLSA (1938) and the Portal-to-Portal Act (1947).  For example, courts seeking to interpret … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Ruling That Public Sector Union President Was “Volunteer” Outside Protection Of FLSA

Courts continue to wrestle with claims brought by individuals treated by businesses as  outside the scope of the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.  Many of these claims are asserted by individuals classified as volunteers and of course interns, all claiming to be employees entitled to the protections of the FLSA.  In one such case, … Continue Reading

Intern Filings Seeking Alleged Unpaid Wages Continue

In the wake of the first substantive decisions issued as part of the growing trend of wage-and-hour claims being initiated by interns recently seeking alleged unpaid minimum wages and overtime, several more high profile filings have become public over the last few weeks, including most recently a claim against popular internet media conglomerate Gawker. Mark, et … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit: “Externs” Who Received Academic Credit Are Not Employees Under FLSA

As discussed in this space just last week, there is an ongoing war regarding compensation of interns under the FLSA. In a victory for employers, last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that individuals completing externships relating to their enrollment in MedVance Institute’s Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program were … Continue Reading

New York Judge Rejects Interns’ Novel Argument That Paying School Tuition Is An Indirect Wage Deduction

In the latest chapter in the ongoing intern battles currently being waged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Harold Baer rejected plaintiffs’ novel assertion of unlawful wage deductions. Wang v. Hearst Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3768 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2013). The Wang litigation concerns the applicability of the … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Holds Former Student Turned “Volunteer” Was Just That, Not Employee Under The FLSA

This blog has explained that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not expressly authorize unpaid interns, and the viability of unpaid internships is generally assessed through the FLSA’s definition of an unpaid “trainee.” Application of this trainee test to various interns and volunteers is often murky and inconsistent. In a new decision deftly navigating this difficult analysis, … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Bloggers’ Compensation Suit

Following appeal of a New York trial court decision issued last spring, the Second Circuit has rejected three Huffington Post (the “Post”) bloggers’ claims to recover $105 million allegedly owed to them and the Post’s other bloggers under theories of unjust enrichment and deceptive business practices. Tasini, et al. v. AOL, Inc., et al., 2d Cir., … Continue Reading

Reminder: The Perils of Interns

Since the Fair Labor Standards Act contains no provision contemplating the concept of the unpaid intern, employers often find themselves defending their decision to classify someone who provides services to the company as being outside the protections afforded “employees” under the statute. Such a defense can be challenging, although one vocational school in Tennessee succeeded in … Continue Reading

California DLSE Modifies Its Standard For Legality of Unpaid Internships

Subsequent to our post of April 6, the California DLSE issued a lengthy new opinion letter regarding trainees, available here. In it, the Division upholds the uncompensated “intern” status of participants in the Year Up program, a program in which a not-for-profit places 18-24 year olds in underserved communities to develop marketable skills in the information … Continue Reading

We Don’t Have To Pay Our Interns – Do We?

For years, students and recent graduates have accepted internships with employers to gain work and practical experience.   Many, if not most, employers have treated and continue to treat these internships as “unpaid.” What’s more, in many industries (including film and advertising) this practice is an institutional rite of passage – part of “dues paying”.  Recent actions … Continue Reading
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