Paul DeCamp Quoted in “When Do You Need to Pay a Candidate for an Interview?”

HR Dive

Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in HR Dive, in “When Do You Need to Pay a Candidate for an Interview?” by Pamela DeLoatch.

Following is an excerpt:

HR professionals know an interview can only reveal so much about an applicant. You can discuss a candidate’s experience, but it can be difficult to assess the quality of an individual’s work based on his or her resume or perspective.

Consider the hiring process for a chef: If you’re a restaurant manager hiring someone to lead your kitchen, it makes sense that you may want to see them in action and sample their work. That’s why “working interviews” are common in so many industries, from food service to dentistry.

But such tests can spell trouble for an employer’s wage and hour compliance efforts. There’s no harm in asking applicants to prove they have certain skills, according to Paul DeCamp, partner at Epstein Becker Green. “The issue arises when the performance of that test delivers an economic benefit to the employer,” he told HR Dive. …

While job applicants aren’t usually considered “trainees,” it may be helpful to look them that way when it comes to interviews. …

The U.S. Department of Labor has provided guidelines on what separates unpaid trainees (for many businesses, interns) from employees, emphasizing that training is generic, benefits the trainee and may or may not result in a job offer. And perhaps most importantly, the training doesn’t give the employer an immediate advantage. …

For employers that want to steer clear of interview wage and hour concerns, the primary question is whether the act of the interview is in any way generating revenue for the company, DeCamp said. "If that is occurring, we need to take a look at these issues and figure out if there is a concern here and if this has become work," he continued. "If so, figure out if there is a way to counteract or negate any economic benefit to the employer from the effort of the interviewee from the interview."