Interns: Do they Comply with the Law?
Most workers must be paid and provided minimum employment standards, including vacation pay and overtime. However, certain exceptions exist whereby it is legal for employers not to pay a worker. One such exception is an “intern”.
Nevertheless, most employers who classify individuals as interns are wrong. Most interns are actually employees, whether they know it or not. It is extremely difficult to pass the government test as to whether an individual is truly an intern. The test is as follows:
If an employer provides an intern with training in skills that are used by the employer’s other employees, the individual will generally be considered an employee and not an intern unless all of the following conditions are met:
- The training is similar to that which is given in school.
- The training is for the benefit of the intern. They receive some benefit from the training, such as new knowledge or skills.
- The employer derives little, if any, benefit from the activity of the intern while he or she is being trained.
- The training doesn’t take someone else’s job.
- The employer isn’t promising the intern a job at the end of training.
- The Intern has been told that he or she will not be paid for their time.
Note: It is not relevant whether an employee is hired as an “intern” and given a contract stating they are an intern. All the test cares about is the actual employment relationship.
Dutton Employment Law is a law firm that advises on interns.
If your employer classified you as an intern, you lack most legal rights regular employees do. However, chances are, your employer is wrong. Contact a Toronto intern lawyer today to get your rights back.