The general trainee tests apply to School-to-Work learning programs under the
School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (STW).
A learning experience at an employer's work site that includes all of the following
elements is consistent with a learning experience under the STW:
- a planned program of job training and work experience for the student, appropriate to
the student's abilities, which includes training related to pre-employment and employment
skills to be mastered at progressively higher levels that are coordinated with learning in
the school-based learning component and lead to the awarding of a skill certificate;
- the learning experience encompasses a sequence of activities that build upon one
another, that increase in complexity and promote mastery of basic skills;
- the learning experience has been structured to expose the student to all aspects of an
industry and promotes the development of broad, transferable skills; and,
- the learning experience provides for real or simulated tasks or assignments which push
students to develop higher-order critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
A student enrolled in a STW learning experience would not be considered an
employee under the FLSA if all of the following student criteria are met:
- the student receives ongoing instruction at the employer's worksite and receives close
on-site supervision throughout the learning experience, with the result that any
productive work that the student would perform would be offset by the burden to the
employer from the training and supervision provided; and
- the placement of the student at a worksite during the learning experience does not
result in the displacement of any regular employee -- i.e., the presence of the student at
the worksite cannot result in an employee being laid off, cannot result in the employer
not hiring an employee it would otherwise hire, and cannot result in an employee working
fewer hours than he or she would otherwise work; and
- the student is not entitled to a job at the completion of the learning experience -- but
this does not mean that employers are to be discouraged from offering employment to
students who might successfully complete the training; and
- the employer, student, and parent or guardian understand that the student is not
entitled to wages or other compensation for the time spent in the learning experience --
although the student may be paid a stipend for expenses such as books or tools.
When all four of the above student criteria are met, an employer would not be
required to pay wages to a student enrolled in an STW learning experience.
If you have specific questions concerning STW programs, you should contact
your local Wage
and Hour District Office.