It is in the best interest of all organizations and companies seeking Pratt interns to be informed of the Federal and New York State best intern hiring practices and legal requirements. If you would like a list of resources to assist in creating a legally sound and mutually beneficial internship program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of Federal Labor Laws
Please read through the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
How the Fair Labor Standards Act will affect your internship opportunity and your organization:
The FLSA applies primarily to for-profit, private sector internships and training programs which are unpaid. Companies and organizations that fit this description must either pay interns or offer clear structure for the expereince to be centered on the education of the student with learning goals and outcomes for it to be legal under labor laws.
- Students at Pratt can both be paid and receive academic credit. Credit for internships is elective at Pratt Institute, meaning enrolling is an individual student's choice.
- The internship cannot require or depend on the use of an intern's personal equipment or software (i.e. sewing machines, adobe creative suite, laptops, Pratt Institute facilities, etc.). To be considered a paid internship, a stipend or scholarship in lieu of payment must be the equivalent of minimum hourly wage ($7.25/hour in New York). If the scholarship award does not meet this minimum requirement the internship is considered unpaid.
- Interns must be supervised by an industry professional at the internship site. (I.e. If you are hiring a graphic design intern, then a professional designer on staff must oversee and guide the intern's learning process.)
Pratt does not approve or support unpaid virtual internships where the intern is performing assignments and duties from their own home or studio.
Internship sites are advised to enroll all interns, regardless of pay, on their Workers' Compensation coverage.
Employers are required by New York State to provide Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage for interns, both paid and unpaid.
Workers' Compensation laws vary from state to state. Contact your local Worker's Compensation Office to find out how to enroll for coverage. Once you have enrolled for coverage, it is a simple task to add interns as they are hired.
- New York Manhattan Office: 800.877.1373
- Brooklyn Office: 800.877.1373
- Pennsylvania Office: 717.783.5421
- New Jersey Office: 609.292.2515
- Connecticut Office: 860.566.4154
Please be considerate of your intern's intellectual property rights. We discourage the commercial use of students' art work without the transfer of rights and remuneration.
Paid interns (meeting the minimum wage compensation for the state) are considered employees for purposes of the federal discrimination laws. An employer should assume that its paid interns are employees and comply with applicable discrimination statutes. It is sound practice to ensure that all interns, paid or unpaid, are treated fairly and in accordance with the discrimination laws.
[This information was created in part with information provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the Fair Labor Standards Act Handbooks for States, Local Governments, and Schools.]