What does Trainee mean?
Not all trainees are considered employees as defined under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).
For example, persons who choose to work to their own advantage on the premises of a company without any express or implied compensation agreement may not be employees.
The FLSA has, however, identified certain criteria which must be present to consider a person a trainee rather than an employee. Trainees as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor According to the Fair Labors and Standards Act, a person is a trainee if they meet the following criteria: The trainee receives training which is similar to what the trainee would have received at a vocational school, even if it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer. The training must benefit the trainee and does not displace regular employees. The trainee must be under close supervision by the regular employees. The employer must receive no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees. The trainees are not guaranteed a job at the end of the training period. The employer and the trainees have agreed that the work is performed for the duration of training without pay.
Is a trainee covered by FLSA overtime regulations?
If the requirements listed above are met the federal government assumes that an employment agreement does not exist, as defined by the Fair Labor and Standards Act. Employers are not required to meet minimum wage requirements or provide overtime pay to trainees or interns. If you are concerned that your employer has illegally excluded you from employment it is important to discuss your concerns with your employer.