Monday, April 18, 2011

More on unpaid work (and other work) from interns

I found this article on AIA's website regarding whether interns can work for free at a firm.  The article concurs with DOL rules, which is that if you work for a for-profit company, you have to be paid for that work.  Interestingly, this article appears to frown on interns gaining IDP credits if they work as independent contractors, saying that "an independent contractor typically does not work under the "direct supervision" that is a hallmark of training."  While I understand the gist of the AIA's comment here, I'm not sure I fully agree.  

If I pay an actual employee of mine $20/hour but my contractor $30/hour, that extra money as a supplement, to make up for for the health insurance and 401(k) contributions that I'm not giving the contract employee but that I am inevitably giving the actual employee.  Either way, if I hire an intern as a contract employee and I've decided to cover that contract employee's work under my liability insurance, then why wouldn't that intern's work be eligible for IDP hours?  If the person is an intern, won't I need to meet with them periodically to make sure the work they're doing is correct and up to my and my firm's standards?  How is that different from meeting once a day or every other day with an intern in my office?  And who's to say that the contract intern wouldn't be working in my office?

Have any of you had experience working as a contractor with an architectural firm?  Can you share anything regarding your work experience?  (And as ever, if you have a question or a topic you'd like to see covered here, feel free to leave it in the comments or via email in the sidebar.  Thanks!)

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