In New Brunswick provincial laws do not provide clear guidance on when interns and students are considered employees or entitled to minimum wage.
While the Employment Standards Act narrowly defines “employee” as “a person who performs work for or supplies services to an employer for wages,” the New Brunswick labour and Employment Board wrote in 2011 that the legislation “does not allow for unpaid training time.” However, the case only addressed unpaid training prior to assuming work with the training employer, and did not unpaid training for future employment with another employer.
Health and Safety Rights
In New Brunswick provincial laws do not provide clear guidance on whether interns and students are entitled to health and safety protections. The Occupational Health and Safety Act defines “employee” as “a person employed at or in a place or employment. Arguably, interns and students are entitled to health and safety protections in New Brunswick based on this definition.
New Brunswick’s Workers’ Compensation Act more clearly includes interns and students within its scope. The legislation defines the terms “worker” and “learner” as follows:
“worker” means a person who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, express or implied, whether by way of manual labour or otherwise, and includes (a) a learner…
“learner” means any person who, although not under contract of service or apprenticeship, becomes subject to the hazards of an industry…for the purpose of undergoing training or probationary work supplied or stipulated by the employer as a preliminary to employment and includes a student attending an educational institution in the Province while participating in an approved work experience program at the place of business of an employer to whom this Act applies.
In New Brunswick interns are entitled to protections against discrimination and harassment in employment under the Human Rights Act, which provides these protections to “any person.”
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