Fenwick litigation and employment practices partner Sheeva Ghassemi-Vanni was recently quoted in Law360’s “Summer Internships: 4 Things Employers Should Consider” article.
Ghassemi-Vanni discussed the issues employers face when bringing on summer interns, including whether and how to compensate them. She advised that unpaid interns are in many cases more trouble than they are worth from a legal risk and worker classification standpoint.
“[T]he safest bet ... is to err on the side of paying minimum wage,” she said. “You’re … avoiding the doubt for a pretty minimal cost.” She counsels clients that monthly salaries and stipends are usually not a good idea because employees (including paid interns) are “hourly until proven salaried.”
As for treatment of interns, especially in light of the #MeToo movement, she recommends that companies talk to employees and managers before summer interns arrive and remind them that “an intern should be treated with the same respect and protections as any other employee at our company.”
The full article is available on Law360 (subscription required).