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Are Students’ Rights Violated in Field Practicums?: A Review of the Fair Labor Standards Act in Social Work Field Education

Published October 2014

by Rachel Slaymaker, LMSW
Abilene Christian University
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Abstract: In recent years, there has been much confusion over whether or not internships violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This article discusses the catalyst leading to the media coverage of internships as a “hot button issue” in higher education. The author distinguishes between traditional internships and the nature of the social work field practicum. The article also outlines the importance of field education programs remaining structured, organized, and well-staffed to provide the significant oversight needed to ensure educational opportunities are afforded to students and to protect students, staff, faculty, and universities from potential litigation.

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