Is it legal to require an unpaid intern to work over 10 hours a day, five days a week with no guaranteed lunch break?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal to require an unpaid intern to work over 10 hours a day, five days a week with no guaranteed lunch break?

My 24 year old daughter was accepted as an unpaid intern at the Milwaukee County
Zoo. She is required to work 10 hours a day 5 daysin a row and due to the work
load, is not always guaranteed she will get a lunch break. Is there a limit on
the hours an unpaid intern can be forced to work?

Asked on June 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Actually, there are no more unpaid internships for adults in positions like this: your daughter is working, and must be oaid to work at least minimum wage. (They don't need to provide her benefits or pay her as much as a non-intern.) The possible exception is if she is doing this through college or grad school, for course credit or as part of a coyrse or graduation credit; in that case, she should speak to a college advisor about the program limitations and requirements.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption