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The Law on Interns

Question: I plan to hire several interns. Do I need to pay them a salary or hourly wage? Answer: Internships can be a great gateway to job entry, which is why they are so appealing. The U.S. Labor Department says that unpaid internships at the nonprofit level are “generally permissible” while a similar job at a for-profit company must pass the department’s “six-point” test. That test says, among other things, that interns cannot displace regular employees and that an employer cannot receive an “immediate advantage” from the intern’s activities.     For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit