Legal Considerations for Internships


For general information to help determine whether interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime for their services, please read this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Labor. This applies only to “for-profit” private sector employers.

Unpaid internships must have the following characteristics:

  • Similar to training which would be given in an educational environment, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities
  • Experience is for the intern’s benefit
  • Intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff
  • Employer that provides training gains no immediate advantage from intern’s activities
  • Intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship
  • Employer and intern understand that intern is not entitled to wages for time spent in the internship.


If an intern is harassed and nothing is done about it, there is a risk of lawsuits against the organization.

Interns should be advised of:

  • Appropriate workplace behavior
  • Organization’s harassment policy
  • Complaint procedures

International Students

International students who hold F-1 visas:          

  • MAY NOT work more than 20 hours/week when school is in session
  • MAY work full time during holidays, vacations, and breaks, as long as the student intends to register for the next school term

Employer Policies and Procedures

Before recruiting on campus, all employers are required to complete and have on file an Affirmative Action Form. This form will be provided to you by the Fleishman Center and must be completed and returned to our office prior to your recruitment visit.

We reserve the right to refuse service to employers for factors including the following:

  • Misrepresentation by dishonesty or lack of information
  • Fraud
  • Complaints by students
  • Harassment of Binghamton students, alumni, or staff
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Requiring, at the time of application, personal information such as bank and social security numbers
  • Positions not likely of interest to college students or alumni
  • Excessive outlay of personal funding required to obtain the position
  • Failure to adhere to Fleishman Center policies and/or any violation of Binghamton University rules and regulations, and location, state, or federal laws. 

Last Updated: 8/11/16