How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask TexLaw Your Own Question

TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4258
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
17219180
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
TexLaw is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I work for a small, new non-profit organization based in Washington,

Resolved Question:

I work for a small, new non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. We are looking to hire some interns this summer and have a few questions surrounding the legality of it.

We want to hire some unpaid interns to help create content for our website by writing news articles. The time commitment in minimal (maybe 2-3 hours per week) and they would work remotely, wherever/whenever it's most convenient to them. The benefit to the interns is experience working with an editor to create news content and also building up a portfolio of published news articles. My first question is whether we can legally call them interns (since they are producing work that we benefit from)? Would we be better off calling them unpaid contributors?

My second question about them is whether or not we need to draw up a contract for the work. It would be a very casual relationship: unpaid with flexible start and end dates.

And finally, we're looking for one paid intern to work for us this summer creating video content. Can we call this person an intern (again, we'll be benefiting from their work)? Or would it be better to write a contract for an 'independent contractor'?

Please let me know if you need me to give you any more information. Thanks in advance!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question. I've served as general counsel for a non-profit.

Whether you title the unpaid workers as an intern or an unpaid contributor has no legal impact and is not governed by any applicable law. The fact that an intern does work which benefits the company does not change the fact that they are an intern, nor does it require that you call them something else.

In regard to whether you need a contract, the best practice would be to do this. You would want to first of all make sure that it is clear that any and all articles they draft or videos they create are works that are donated to the charity and become the copyright and property of the charity.

In regard to the intern you want to pay. You want to make sure that the work done for the video is done under a written independent contractor agreement which designates that the video produced is a "work for hire" and also certifies that the intern is not an employee of the charity.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4258
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
TexLaw and 7 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Please let me know if you have any further question.

Please also do not forget to rate my answer positively. I'm not paid at all until you do (the website keeps all your money).

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
 
 
 

Related Employment Law Questions

Chat Now With An Employment Lawyer
TexLaw
TexLaw
Attorney
757 Satisfied Customers
Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination