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Career Services Events

May 01 2014

Citizen Schools Information Session

May 01 2014

Internship Certificate Program - Orientation II

May 06 2014

Career Net Quick Training

May 06 2014

Alumni Mentor Program Info Session


Internship Policy for Employers

Program Requirements 

A “good” internship description:

 

Is my organization subject to the FLSA?

In most cases: YES
Your organization is subject to the FLSA if:

1.    Your organization has at least two employees

2.    Your organization’s annual dollar volume of sales or business done is at least $500,000

3.    Your organization is a hospital, business providing medical or nursing care for residents, school or preschool, or a government agency

Learn more

 

Must I pay my interns?

In most cases: YES
If your organization is subject to the FLSA, you must pay your interns unless your internship position meets ALL of the following criteria:

 

When a site uses unpaid interns, certain guidelines must be followed to conform to the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act applies to all employers, government, non-profit, and for-profit. Typical permitted volunteer sites include government agencies, hospitals, charitable non-profit agencies and the like. Persons already employed by such an organization cannot volunteer the same type of services as their job during the weeks they are employed. Commercial businesses may not ever legally utilize unpaid volunteers. Unpaid intern status is permitted but there are very few circumstances to which this applies (see below). The guidelines for legal requirements for an internship are below. The bottom line on this is that no one from the Dept. of Labor is likely to investigate what an intern is doing unless a case is brought involving claims for wages, Worker’s Compensation or sexual harassment claims. The law is generally very liberally interpreted, but this information is provided for your understanding. Consult your legal adviser if you have more questions on these issues.

  1. The work is supposed to benefit the intern more than the organization. The employer may not benefit from the activities of an unpaid intern. The law wishes to ensure that the internship is a learning experience for the student and not merely a way to get unpaid labor. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act Fact Sheet of April 2010, students who do unpaid work that ”benefits” a profit-making company may claim back wages and civil penalties. They are entitled to minimum wage of $8.00 per hour or the state minimum wage, whichever is higher. For example, an intern may learn to operate a cash register or enter data, but may not deal with actual customers or data of the business. They may learn procedures such as writing a press release, but may not write any that are utilized in the business. The Dept. of Labor considers work performed as part of an evaluation period or an intern program to be compensable.
  2. Work performed by an intern must be directly related to his/her coursework. At NYIT, the internship course is evaluated as part of the student's degree plan, but many not necessarily be required for graduation.
  3. Interns receiving college credits for their internships prepare and submit reports to their faculty supervisors. At NYIT, students must submit journals of their work time, summaries of their activities, and research papers tying theory to practice. Students choosing to earn academic credits for their internships pay for those credits, which can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $3,000, depending on the number of credits the internship course carries. Students earn the academic credits for the academic assignments they complete for their professors, NOT the work they do for the internship employer.
  4. The organization has written documentation that the internship is educationally relevant. The student will give you a copy of the Learning Agreement that all participants sign.
  5. Learning objectives are clearly defined. The student must write their objectives on the Learning Agreement.
  6. An unpaid intern may not perform work also done by employees (and thus serves as an unpaid employee).
  7. Regardless of pay, the organization must serve as a co-educational facility and must teach the intern a skill, a process, how to use equipment, and about the business and/or industry in which the student is seeking a career.
  8. The intern is supervised by one of the organization’s staff members. We must have a designated site supervisor who will complete student evaluations and host an NYIT faculty or staff member on a site visit if requested.
  9. The intern is not guaranteed a job upon completion of the internship. This ensures an organization cannot require a person to work for free in order to get a job in the future.
  10. The intern cannot displace existing workers or directly take on the duties of a fired or laid-off employee. This ensures a regular worker will not be removed and the duties assigned to an unpaid intern. Also, there may not be more unpaid interns on “staff” than there are paid staff members.

 

Can I offer academic credit for my internship?

No. Only New York Institute of Technology can grant academic credit. As such, the student earns academic credit by doing academic work; the student earns pay for services performed for the employer’s benefit. 

 

The statement “for academic credit” is misleading because it implies that the employer is paying for the academic credit. Academic credit costs $1000/credit at NYIT and many internship courses are 3-credit courses (a total cost of $3000 to the student). Many students do not require these credits to graduate and some degree programs will not even allow them to be used toward the credit requirement for graduation.

 

How do I find out fair pay rates?

Contact Experiential Education in the Office of Career Services at 212-261-1537 or 516-686-7528 or abravo@nyit.edu or amcnally@nyit.edu.


Developing an Internship Program/Position

Planning for success:

  • Know your purpose - why take on a student?
  • Learn the student's purpose. Identify learning goals and coordinate with pre-determined work goals. Draft a student/supervisor contract, see this sample agreement (PDF).
  • Orientation - Introduce your organization and expectations
  • Plan ongoing reflection, feedback, and evaluation
  • Know your purpose
    • Why hire the student? How does it fit into your mission?
    • What will they do, how and where will they do it, to whom will they report, how long will the projects take, how will all parties know when it will be finished?
    • What should a student do during down time?
  • Know the student's purpose
    • Get to know your learner. Major, career goals, skills, values, and interests. What do they know about your organization and why did they choose you?
    • What do they hope to learn from working or serving with your organization? About their major, career field, themselves personally and professionally?
    • Revisit the job description and modify accordingly. Draft the student/supervisor contract.
  • Orientation
    • Explain the mission of the organization
    • Explain the organizational structure
    • Outline organizational rules, policies, decorum, and expectations
    • Define intern's / volunteer's responsibilities
    • Monitor the intern's adjustment and understanding of what's expected
  • Reflection, feedback, and evaluation: to make sure your organization is getting the most out of your intern and the intern is getting the most out of their experience, especially meeting their learning objectives, utilize some of the following tools:
    • Journals and portfolios
    • Weekly/biweekly meetings
    • Phone calls/e-mails
    • Reports
    • Blogs/posts
  • More helpful resources:
  • Review NYIT's Employer Policy - (PDF)

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