As businesses and organizations come to rely more and more on the assistance of interns to perform various tasks, a common question arises: Is an intern an employee or a contractor?
The answer to this question is not a straightforward one, as it depends on the nature of the relationship between the intern and the employer. In general, however, interns are considered employees and not independent contractors.
The main reason for this is that interns are typically viewed as needing close supervision and guidance in order to learn and develop their skills. As such, they are typically treated as employees who are entitled to certain rights and benefits, such as minimum wage laws, workers’ compensation insurance, and protection against discrimination and harassment.
In addition, many internships are structured in such a way that the intern is expected to be an integral part of the organization and to perform tasks that are central to the employer’s business operations. This level of involvement is typically more consistent with an employment relationship than with a contractor relationship.
That being said, there are some situations in which an intern might be considered a contractor. For example, if the intern is hired to perform a specific project or task that falls outside of the employer’s normal business operations, and if the intern has a high degree of control over how that task is performed, then the intern might be classified as a contractor.
Ultimately, the determination of whether an intern is an employee or a contractor depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the work being performed, the level of control the employer has over the intern, and the relationship between the parties involved.
If you are an employer considering hiring an intern, it is important to understand the legal implications of the intern’s status. You should consult with an experienced employment law attorney to ensure that you are complying with all applicable laws and regulations, and that you are treating your interns fairly and appropriately.