Our immediately preceding blog post from this week began a discussion of select topics relating to wage-and-hour matters that are currently receiving some scrutiny (please see our June 16 entry). We continue with that theme in today's post, commencing with a focus on unpaid interns in the workplace.
Our readers in California and elsewhere are certainly familiar with the adage proclaiming that, "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck …."
That maxim can certainly be applied to business environments, where a person toiling alongside other employees and doing essentially the same work during the same hours is, well, an employee.
And not an intern, with the implication being that an employer who categorizes a similarly occupied worker as such and avoids paying him or her is flouting federal and state labor laws and potentially opening the door for a wage-and-hour-related law lawsuit hinged on employee misclassification.
As noted in a media overview on wage/hour violations, the type and scope of activities engaged in by unpaid interns must necessarily differ materially from the work that is done by regular employees.
There are a number of things an experienced employment law attorney can focus upon in efforts to determine whether an employer is unlawfully using an intern as an employee and avoiding wage payments in the process.
That is also true concerning situations where employees are not paid any wage in lieu of receiving money pursuant to some type of incentive compensation program. As pointed out in the above-cited article, such situations can be quite murky and especially problematic in California, given the state's "complex wage statement and wage notice requirements."
A proven employment law attorney can provide aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation on behalf of a person having questions or concerns regarding any aspect of employment law.