This page provides references, links, documents and multiple sources of information on internship programming for employers. Learn what internships are, how they can be beneficial for your company, and why you should start your own internship program!
(Adapted from NACE)
To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) definition, all the following criteria must be met:
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) offered employers the following guidelines with respect to how internships are structured in its February 2015 NACE Journal
NACE indicates that one of the biggest issues regarding internships continues to be the payment, or nonpayment, of interns. As many employers are aware, in May 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a six-part test to determine if an employer is required to provide payment for an internship. Under this test, an employer is not required to pay an intern if these criteria are met:
Wisconsin employers are urged to evaluate these guidelines as they develop their internship programs
Some employers require interns to sign employment agreements when they begin their internship. These agreements explain the scope of duties and could include noncomplete, nonsolicitation, or nondisclosure provisions. Both the intern and the employer should have an attorney review the agreement to ensure they understand the legal requirements that come along with entering into these types of agreements.
NACE indicates that the validity of these agreements are an entirely different issue. In general, employment agreements are necessary if an employer wants to define the way an employee can be terminated, to specify the terms of severance, and to provide certain restrictions on employment. In most cases, an internship has a specific and defined time period so the only true need to have an intern sign an employment agreement is to protect the employer’s business interests.
Nondisclosure agreements prohibit an intern from divulging an organization’s confidential information to other parties during while they are employed and after they leave the organization. In general, the intern agrees that he or she will not reveal anything the company considers confidential (e.g., customer lists or research and development plans). Since interns are often provided with unlimited access to an employer’s business, it is not unusual for a company to require interns to sign a nondisclosure agreement when they begin the internship.