The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted the primary beneficiary test for determining whether interns of for-profit employers count as employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA requires for-profit employers to pay employees for their work. Interns and students, however, may not be “employees” under the FLSA—in which case the FLSA does not require compensation for their work.
In ruling on FLSA cases, courts have previously used the primary beneficiary test to examine the “economic reality” of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary of the relationship.” On January 5, 2018, the DOL announced its adoption of the primary beneficiary test for purposes of its enforcement of the FLSA.
If the primary beneficiary test reveals that an intern is an employee, then he or she is entitled to both minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA.
Read more about this here. 2/5/2018