In addition to complying with the US Department of Labor and BOLI wage and hour laws and regulations, internship hosts may need workers' compensation insurance
and unemployment insurance
If a worker is under the direction and control of another person, and is paid to do a job (even if under the premise of learning the job as an intern), the employer must obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage. There are some exceptions, such as that found in the casual labor exemption under Oregon Revised Statute 656.027(3)
or when the workers are all members of the same family under a family-owned corporation. When even one worker is subject (family or not) the employer is subject and must have the required workers' compensation insurance.
The Oregon Employment Department (OED) may investigate if the department receives questions regarding whether employment should have been reported or unemployment taxes should have been paid. This typically arises when a worker is seeking unemployment benefits and doesn't see what they expect to see on their wage history for establishing eligibility for unemployment benefits and the weekly benefit amount. It also comes up in the context of whether a relationship should be characterized employer-employee instead of independent contractor.
OED is required by federal complaint process to refer someone to the relevant enforcement agency if they receive a complaint about an alleged employment law violation. For example, an issue would be referred to BOLI/Federal Wage and Hour if a person claimed they should have received wages but didn't, referred to Workers' Compensation if someone alleged they were injured on the job and the employer didn't allow them to file or didn't have workers' compensation insurance, or referred to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon-OSHA) if someone alleged health and safety violations at a worksite or employer-provided housing.
OED's job listing service is not available to businesses to solicit applications for internship positions. The employment service part of the agency requires an employer-employee relationship to advertise a listing.Photo courtesy of Oregon State University Small Farms Program