Startups · Recruiting

Are companies required by law to pay interns in California?

Anonymous

November 23rd, 2015

Specifically for early stage startup companies.

Victoria Cabrera Marketing Coordinator at Patxi's Pizza

November 23rd, 2015

Take a look at these past discussions that may help answer your question: Intern Compensation & How much should you pay startup interns? 

Hope that helps! 

Anonymous

November 23rd, 2015

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay for all hours worked. It's illegal to not pay interns. 

Alexander Ross Head of Business Development at Verifide

November 23rd, 2015

Google show this:

http://www.propublica.org/article/when-interns-should-be-paid-explained

Apparently, the courts are pretty strict on this and academic credit by itself isn't enough to justify no pay.

Liza Taylor Communication Specialist at Keyideas Infotech

November 23rd, 2015

Whether there is a law or not but interns need to be paid. It is against the labour law if interns are providing their service without getting paid. Unfortunately with the number of organizations looking for experienced graduates, some interns are willing to provide their service for free of cost so that they can get an experience certificate from the concerned firm. This has given companies wider choice to choose candidates for internship. As per the Dept of Labor, every organization needs to pay a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. 

Kirsten Minshall Founder of UVD and CTO at Limpid Markets

November 24th, 2015

Have you potentially thought about forgetting what the law says and just doing the right thing? I know it sounds terribly left wing and all but I happen to think paying people for their contribution is just the right thing to do. I've written about it here: http://www.uvd.co.uk/blog/5-good-reasons-to-pay-your-interns/

Lorraine Wheeler President at Redstoke, LLC

November 23rd, 2015

I am not an attorney, but I believe every state has a minimum wage law.  I would check with an employment attorney to understand the rules for unpaid internships and what conditions have to be met so that the minimum wage law does not apply.

Kelliane Lam Founder at Time To Go Social and Kelliane Parker Farmers Insurance Agency

November 23rd, 2015

I'm not sure about interns, but I have used the Cal Work Study program. I had grad students taking on projects related to their major. The min pay was $12.50, (that was 5-7 years ago), and you received a grant of up to $4000 back a semester.

But I would do my research, fines for labor law infringements are steep. Go to https://www.dir.ca.gov/. Ca Dept of Labor Relations can give you the definitive answer.

Alexander Ross Head of Business Development at Verifide

November 23rd, 2015

I'm not a lawyer either, but I do believe that academic credit (through an official accredited program, etc) would be the only exception to the minimum wage law.

Mike Cavaretta Co-founder and Member at The Startup Coalition

November 30th, 2015

An intern for a for-profit business must be paid unless the internship meets the requirements of the narrow “learner/trainee” exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law governing payment of minimum wages and overtime. Failure to meet this narrow exemption could result in costly litigation and possibly significant liability. See: http://employmentlawblogma.com/2014/04/08/will-your-interns-sue-you-for-unpaid-wages/