Welcome to a discussion of HR requirements and strategies for the small to mid-sized business.

You know that your employees are the key to your business success, but being an employer or being “the boss” can get complicated at times. Focusing on your business and your customers is the top priority. It can be a challenge to also make time to develop expertise in improving employee performance and reducing employer risk.

Through my consulting business, First Thing Tomorrow Human Resources Consultants, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside many gifted business leaders.

I welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact me at info@firstthingtomorrow.com.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It’s Almost Summer – Got Interns?

With summer rapidly approaching, many businesses are considering taking on an intern or two for a few weeks or months. What may seem to be a worthy plan designed to provide practical work experience to a young person may, in fact, not be a true internship at all. Many of these businesses, despite having the best intentions, may create risk for themselves by providing internships which are not compliant with applicable law. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor has established six specific criteria regarding the type of position which qualifies as a true internship. If the internship does not meet all six criteria, the individual may need to be treated as an employee rather than an intern with regard to pay and benefits. The impact of finding this out after the fact, either during or following the internship, could be substantial.

Establishing an internship program, when done correctly, can bring great long-term benefits to both the business and the intern. Be sure to review the applicable criteria or seek guidance prior to bringing on an intern.

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