The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) had long made life complicated for employers in the state who wanted to bring on board unpaid interns, adding an extra five criteria to those spelled out in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

But all that has changed now that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a crackdown on using unpaid interns as unpaid employees. The Division announced recently, in an opinion letter, that it would henceforth use only the six federal criteria, which are: 

►The interns’ training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to that given in a vocational school;
►The interns’ training is for the interns’ benefit;
►The interns do not displace regular employees but work under their close supervision;
►The employer does not derive an immediate advantage from the interns’ activities and, on occasion, its operations may be actually impeded;
►The interns are not necessarily entitled to a job when the training period ends;
►The employer and the interns understand that the interns are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

For those of you who want to be sure you’re following the proper rules and regulations in classifying your employees, Personnel Concepts offers a comprehensive but easy-to-follow FLSA Overtime Rules Compliance Kit.