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Internships and Pay

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires "for-profit" employers to pay employees for their work. Interns and students, however, may not be "employees" under the FLSA—in which case the FLSA does not require compensation for their work. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and many courts use the "primary beneficiary" test to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA. This test allows courts to examine the "economic reality" of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the "primary beneficiary" of the relationship. The following seven factors are included in the test:


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