As many businesses start looking to use summer internships, some Wisconsin residents may wonder how an intern differs from an employee. There are different rules that apply. Understanding and being aware of the laws can help interns assert their employee rights if an employer attempts to infringe upon them.
Recently, a situation arose when a paid intern filed suit against his employer for violating wage and overtime laws. The student was working as a intern in hopes of eventually being offered a full-time coaching job. The school paid him a flat monthly rate, and he claims to have worked at least 90 hours per week. Had the school paid nothing, the intern would have had no claim. However, some feel that this case could start a precedent where paying an intern makes the person an employee who is entitled to minimum wage and overtime.
Any workers who are not clear on whether they are interns or employees may benefit from speaking with a local employment law attorney for help and information. When an employer underpays an employee, an attorney may be able to help obtain the missing wages.