Interns and Workers Compensation

It’s that time of year…. Chicago area businesses will be added college interns to their workforce. Whether they are paid interns or not the questions is “are interns covered on workers compensation in Illinois or other states”.


99% of the time the answer is YES – interns are covered… even if unpaid. The question falls back to the definition of an employee and for this I always refer to the IRS website for definitions. They site the Common Law Rules. In this case we would refer to the “Behavioral Controls”.

Behavioral Control refers to facts that show whether there is a right to direct or control how the worker does the work. A worker is an employee when the business has the right to direct and control the worker. The business does not have to actually direct or control the way the work is done – as long as the employer has the right to direct and control the work.

The behavioral control factors fall into the categories of:

·    Type of instructions given

·    Degree of instruction

·    Evaluation systems

·    Training

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