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Interim Roles

Has an employee in your company ever taken an interim role? How did you go about determining how to pay him or her?


  • According to federal DOL, almost all employees are subject to minimum wage and overtime rules. "Intern" is just a word. Calling someone an "intern" changes nothing. There is an "intern" exception, but the core of the that exception is that the intern is there to learn, and that NO, repeat NO, productive work is actually being done. I think that there is also a college requirement where the college decided to send the intern over.

    If all of these requirements are not followed, then this is an EMPLOYEE.

  • As far as IRS is concerned, there is no difference between an interim and non-interim employee. As far as DOL is concerned, no difference on basic MW/OT and such but READ YOUR BENEFITS PLANS. You generally have to follow your benefit plans to the letter.

  • The question that came up for us is a non-exempt employee working interim in an exempt position. We do pay a 'lump sum' of the difference in pay at the end of the interim term, but while he is working in the position, should he still be paid overtime?

  • Honestly, I would keep him non-exempt rather than trying to explain why he moved back and forth, even if his duties changed for a while. Or at least look at which pay system benefits him the most, because honestly someone doing an "interim" job is doing the employer a favor. If hourly in the end is lower than the exempt salary, I would bonus him at the end of the interim job if he performs to standards.

    Exemptions/overtime depend on the duties test not a classification title. You are ALWAYS able to pay an employee as a non-exempt. But the other way around is the tricky one. When in doubt, pay non-exempt/OT.

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