Charlie Sheen is Hiring an Intern, Should You?

Charlie Sheen is looking for a social media intern . And as if the entertainment value weren’t enough, it’s a paid gig, too. As much as it pains this blogger to write, the self-proclaimed warlock is on the right track. Offering internships legally requires time or money–both of which the recently-fired actor has plenty. So if you’re thinking that you, too, could use the assistance of an intern, read on and learn a little something from Sheen. It may be the only time you do. Unpaid interns look like a great option given the state of the economy. This sentiment would be wrong. Internships are governed by Department of Labor standards and state law–much of which mimics federal law. Under these guidelines, free labor doesn’t come easy. To offer an unpaid internship legally, the intern can’t be replacing a regular employee. This basically means that if it’s a job you’d normally hire and pay someone to do, an unpaid intern can’t do it instead. Unpaid internships are also about the intern– not you. Rules demand that you provide supervision, training and instruction for the intern’s benefit. In fact, the law admits that, in some cases, having an unpaid intern should hurt–not help–your productivity. Though you may not require your potential interns to be winning and with tiger blood flowing through their veins, Sheen’s decision to pay his intern serves as a positive example. His social media “intern” is essentially an employee with little to no supervision, which is why he probably opted to pay. Plus, he received 74,000 applicants in less than a week . Who can argue with that? Related Resources: Charlie Sheen looking to hire intern (NZ Herald) Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act (Dept. of Labor) Offering Unpaid Internships? Tread Carefully! (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise) So, You Want To Hire An Unpaid Intern? (FindLaw’s Strategist) Minimum Wage 101: What Small Businesses Need to Know (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise)

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Charlie Sheen is Hiring an Intern, Should You?