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Thinking of Hiring an Intern? Better Pay Minimum Wage

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By Scott Bourne

Many photo studios hire summer interns. It’s usually a win-win situation. The studio gets cheap help. The intern gets real-world knowledge. But recent legal developments gave cast a cloud over the typical intern hiring tactics used by many studios.

Some states are now starting to require that interns are paid at least minimum wage. Most internships I’ve been a part of offer no or low pay in return for training. And in states like New York where enforcement of the minimum wage laws are strict, there are exceptions allowed.

The internships that are similar to the training given in a vocational school or academic institution, that the intern does not displace regular paid workers and that the employer “derives no immediate advantage” from the intern’s activities are exempt from the minimum wage law

In some states, full college credit is required when students enter into unpaid internships. This may or may not obviate the need for minimum wage protection for the internship.

The bottom line is simple. Because most states have mis-managed their finances, they are trying every trick in the book to get some new revenue. If they can force you to pay minimum wage, then they can tax you and the intern.

If you’re planning on hiring an intern this year, be sure to check your local, regional and state jurisdictions as well as federal hour/wage laws to make sure you’re in compliance. Part of going pro is accepting the responsibility that comes with running a real business. You’re always better off when you are in full compliance with all laws and regulations.


Written by scottbourne

April 30, 2010 at 7:39 am

Posted in Business

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