Is Workers' Compensation Coverage Required?
Student interns are individuals who provide services to gain work experience.
Workers' Compensation coverage is required for student interns (paid or unpaid) who provide services to a for-profit business, a nonprofit organization, or a government agency.
Whether a student intern is considered an employee depends on various factors, including but not limited to the financial benefit to the student intern (such as tuition credit) and the degree of control exercised by the organization. Workers' Compensation Law Judges have explicitly ruled that the training and experience gained by unpaid student interns is of value to the intern and equivalent to wages.
Exception: Student interns (paid or unpaid) who are engaged in a teaching or non-manual capacity in or for a religious, charitable or educational institution (as designated under the IRS tax code) are exempt from mandatory coverage, but can be covered voluntarily.
Manual labor includes but is not limited to such tasks as:
- carrying materials such as pamphlets, binders, or books
- cleaning such as dusting or vacuuming
- playing musical instruments
- moving furniture
- shoveling snow
- mowing lawns
- construction of any sort