Should law firm and other legal interns get benefits under the Affordable Care Act?

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Are you a law school student wondering if you count as an “employee” under ACA? Consider, for example:

  • Are you paid or unpaid?
  • Do you work at least 30 hours per week?
  • Does the employer have 50 or more full-time employees?

According to SHRM,

Under the ACA, a paid intern must be counted as an employee in determining if a company is a large employer subject to the law’s provisions on providing health care insurance. A company is considered a large employer if it has 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalents.

However, employers can exclude from the calculation seasonal workers who were employed for no more than 120 days during the prior calendar year and who were hired to work on a seasonal basis only. For example, if a company hires summer interns, the seasonal worker exception may apply and you don’t need to include these individuals when counting employees. In addition, you don’t have to consider the service performed by students under federal or state-sponsored work-study programs in determining whether they are full-time employees.

See more of Erin Patton’s analysis at "Do interns count as full-time employees under the Affordable Care Act?"