Private sector employers planning internship programs should be aware of the legal distinctions between unpaid interns and paid employees. A number of recent class actions filed against media and entertainment companies, accusing them of misclassifying unpaid interns in order to reduce production costs, has led to a heightened scrutiny of internship programs. Simply labeling an employment relationship as an unpaid internship does not necessarily create an exemption from legal obligations to pay compensation for services performed.

For additional information, read our recent GT Alert, Intern or Employee? Unpaid Internships May End Up Costing Employers.