Legal Considerations of Internships
Any disclosure of internship/intern information is prohibited without the intern’s express written consent. FERPA laws may be applicable.
All student interns must be covered by an Employer/Organization’s Workers’ Compensation insurance when the student intern is defined as a “subject worker” by Oregon Workers’ Compensation Law. A “subject worker” includes any worker for an Employer/Organization where an exchange of “remuneration for services” occurs. Remuneration is not explicitly defined; however, it may include lodging, stipends, gifts, etc. If student interns do not meet the definition of a “subject worker”, the Employer/Organization may be able to add the student intern to its Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage by contacting their insurance agent or carrier. Oregon State University (OSU) only provides Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage for student interns defined as OSU “subject workers” while performing duties for OSU. OSU does not provide Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage for student interns performing duties to non-OSU Employers/Organizations.
Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination
Internship Employers/Organizations must subscribe to EEOC guidelines established by Federal and Oregon state law. Employers/Organizations cannot unlawfully discriminate in the selection of student interns on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or veteran status.
Other Employment Related Laws
Employers/Organizations must adhere to all other employment related laws for student interns who perform employment related tasks including, but not limited to, acts of sexual harassment.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
All Employers/Organizations shall maintain a safe working environment for student interns. This includes complying with all OSHA rules and providing an initial safety orientation, any precautionary safety instructions, training, and ongoing supervision for assigned duties. An experienced professional who has expertise in the content area of the internship shall be assigned to supervise the student intern throughout the internship and shall be available to the student intern in the event of any employment related accidents.
Hold Harmless or Indemnity Agreements
Because of the concern over liability during student internships, some Employers/Organizations may require Oregon State University and/or the student intern to sign a hold-harmless or indemnity agreement. Student interns are PROHIBITED from signing an Employer/Organization’s hold-harmless or indemnity agreement on behalf of Oregon State University. If an Employer/Organization desires to enter into an on-going internship arrangement, all agreements between the Employer/Organization must be signed by one of the 16 authorized signators for Oregon State University through the Procurement and Contract Services Office. In some cases, Employers/Organizations have asked students to sign a release of liability as a condition to accepting an internship. Student interns are recommended to NOT sign personal hold-harmless or indemnity agreements that assume liability as a condition to accepting an internship.