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View Full Version : thinking about using interns to help us thru summer months



beerguy1
12-09-2013, 11:19 AM
Like many of us Summer time gets very busy and I thought it might be a great idea to bring some interns in to help us and let them get there
hands in a working brewery.Im sure others here have done this and i was wondering what there experience was with them. Any schools better to deal
with than others.

Cheers
Mike

Alan Stiles
12-12-2013, 11:23 AM
We've given up on using interns as Federal regulations have made it too complicated.

Here's some info why:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/04/19/6-legal-requirements-for-unpaid-internship-programs/

Good luck

-alan

beerguy1
12-13-2013, 05:04 AM
Thanks Alan for the reply it opened my eyes to a couple of new issues and yes it makes me wonder if it is worth the hassle.

beerlawcenter
12-16-2013, 10:29 AM
BeerGuy1 -

I have to go with Alan on this one. I wrote a blog post a while back on interns (especially the unpaid kind). Take a look: http://www.jslawcenter.com/unpaid-interns-buyers-market-right/

If you're going to do it, make sure and:
- Have a written work agreement, including specific expectations about attendance and time on the job
- Agree, ahead of time, on the major tasks and goals of the job
- Have a means for providing documented feedback to the intern
- If you're not working with an accredited university program, be sure to pay the intern at least minimum wage

Even if you're working with a school program (where the student gets credit for the work experience), be careful. Make sure that you understand the specific requirements by the school and make sure that you understand - specifically - what kind of employee the student is.

Generally, the more rigorous/structured/documented the program, the better it is from your perspective. Hope this helps. Good luck!
John

dick murton
12-17-2013, 10:24 AM
Although I have never employed anyone (employee then more recently self employed) I would also have a good look at your insurance policy, to make sure you are covered for this sort of assistance, particularly in light of short and possibly not comprehensive training. In theory, it should be simple and not expensive to insure them, but.......

jkovarovics
12-17-2013, 10:59 AM
Please don't use interns. I used to work in the audio industry which is so crowded with unpaid interns that it is difficult to find a real job in the industry. Even when you do find a position, the wages are extremely low for highly skilled labor. People have accepted that as ok because the only other option is to work for free. Please, please don't promote that kind of situation in the brewing industry. The purpose of an intern is education not grunt work. If you need extra hands, hire them. If you can't afford it, work harder yourself or pay your other employees just a little extra to do more during busy times. But again please don't ask people to work for free to make your life easier.

piersonbrew
12-17-2013, 11:30 AM
I actually volunteered at a brewery. Granted its nothing to intense, just helping out with their canning line by putting cans in a box then on a pallet. There was a few of us there helping out.

mashpaddled
12-17-2013, 08:53 PM
The DOL is on a tear about the internship issue. The whole reason the DOL started cracking down is because companies started hiring employees for seasonal or entry level work and called them "interns" so they wouldn't be paid. It just doesn't work like that under the FLSA (and analogous state law).

Unpaid interns are only permissible if the interns are working as part of an accredited educational program and the focus of the internship is for the benefit of the intern rather than the employer (there are more specific factors addressed by the courts). That means you're looking for students in brewing or food programs and you're not using them to fill the same role as an employee. There should be special training and feedback for the interns and they should not be doing menial tasks as a significant part of the internship (that means no cleaning all day, every day).

If you're just looking for seasonal work then you need to hire employees and pay them at least minimum wage.