Message From Newsletter Sponsor,
Post University
Connecticut Sun WNBA Team and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment Partner with Post University for Career Development

The Connecticut Sun, a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team, and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) are offering players, employees and tribal members access to Post University degree and non-degree programs through its new partnership with Post University.

The collaboration advances equity through education, enabling Sun players, over 8,000 MGE employees and 2,000 tribal members the ability to explore the University’s wide range of degrees and career development programs.

“Education is such a basic right and Post continually seeks out opportunities that extend access to everyone to advance learning and innovation for our community,” said Post University CEO & President John L. Hopkins. “This partnership is a winning combination and will make a substantial impact on education equity. I look forward to welcoming Sun players, the Mohegan Tribe and the employees of Mohegan Gaming into the Post family.”

The partnership offers post-secondary education, career development and continuing education benefits to MGE and Connecticut Sun front office members and their families, as well as MGE employees and tribal members. Additionally, Connecticut Sun players will have the opportunity to explore graduate degree professions and gain skills that will serve them well after retirement.

“From the first day with representatives from Post University, I knew this partnership was meant to be. We immediately realized how well our values aligned and that we had a shared a mission of changing people’s lives,” said Connecticut Sun President Jen Rizzotti. “We believe Post can help prepare Connecticut Sun players and fans to be confident, competent, and competitive participants in the global marketplace. As a former WNBA player, I can attest to the fact that we all hope we can play basketball forever. However, the reality of professional basketball is very different, and this relationship allows us to give our Connecticut Sun players an opportunity to explore post-playing career professions that fit their interests.”

Post University will be the “Official Education Partner” of the Connecticut Sun and will be featured on a jersey patch during the next four seasons. In addition to providing educational opportunities, Post University will host two theme nights this season. After home games, Post University students will have the opportunity to interview a member of the team and produce the “Post University, Post Game Report,” giving them hands-on production and interview experience in a professional setting.
Are You Required to Pay Your Summer Intern?
This HR Corner is brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Written by Attorney Nick Zaino
It’s that time of year when many organizations arrange to hire summer interns. Internships are mutually beneficial in that they provide organizations an opportunity to get extra help during the summer, and they provide individuals an excellent opportunity to gain experience or skills in a particular field or industry. In many cases, individuals are eager to accept an unpaid internship in exchange for the learning experience. However, an individual’s willingness to accept an unpaid internship does not make the arrangement legally compliant. The determination of whether an intern must be paid is a legal one and can be complicated.
The legal analysis differs between for profit and not-for-profit entities and public agencies (e.g., state, municipalities, etc.). In short, for-profit entities generally are required to pay interns at least minimum wage and overtime pay for hours worked over 40 whereas non-profit organizations and public agencies have greater latitude to structure an unpaid internship.
For Profit Organizations
Courts and the federal DOL use the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether an intern is, in fact, an employee entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Courts and the DOL evaluate seven factors to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship. If the organization is the primary beneficiary, then an employment relationship exists and the intern is considered employee, entitled to all FLSA protections. The seven factors are:
1.     The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
2.     The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
3.     The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
4.     The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
5.     The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
6.     The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
7.     The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.
Under this test, no single factor is determinative, and the unique circumstances must be considered. Given the subjectivity and uncertainty with how these factors could be applied in a particular circumstance, many for-profit employers opt to pay their interns to avoid legal risk.
Non-Profit Organizations and Public Employers
Federal and Connecticut law do not require non-profit organizations and public employers to pay individuals who are considered “volunteers”. Therefore, an intern who is considered a volunteer, is not entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. The federal DOL has stated a volunteer generally will not be considered an employee if the individual:
  • Volunteers freely for public service, religious or humanitarian objectives, and without contemplation or receipt of compensation (except volunteers may be paid expenses, reasonable benefits, a nominal fee, or any combination thereof, for their service without losing their status as volunteers);
  • Typically serves on a part-time basis; and
  • Does not displace regular employed workers or perform work that would otherwise be performed by regular employees.
The DOL emphasizes that paid employees of a non-profit organization cannot volunteer to provide the same type of services to their non-profit organization that they are employed to provide.  

If you have questions about this issue, please contact a member of Carmody’s Labor and Employment team. 

This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.
In the News
Free Business Development Programs
By Lynn Ward

The Chamber is partnering with the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to deliver two educational business development programs this month that provide support for individuals to launch a business idea or to learn new skills and strategies. The SBDC is an accredited member of America’s Small Business Development Center Network—the most comprehensive small business assistance program in the United States with a proven track record of providing over 40 years of service to small businesses.

One program is tailored for aspiring minority entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own business and the other is for minority-owned businesses who are looking to grow their business to the next level.

While the pandemic had an obvious impact on new business start-ups, there has been an upswing in the number of new business registrations. From January 2019 to November 2021, 15 percent of new businesses identified as woman-owned and 13 percent were minority-owned—both steady increases over the past few years, according to Many of the new businesses under these categories are in the transportation and warehousing sector, as well as retail, professional and technical services, and real estate. Have you been dreaming of starting your own business? Now is the time.

The Minority Startup Program, which runs Wednesdays on Zoom between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., will help educate individuals on the basics on how to turn a concept, idea, or passion into a bona fide business. The program will be held over four class sessions, beginning May 18 and running until June 8. “The state is seeing a lot of people who want to start their own business. The Minority Startup Program will help people walk through their concept and figure out how they can make a business from it,” said Joe Ercolano, State Director of Connecticut SBDC.

To incentivize participants to attend all four classes, the Chamber will cover $100 in tuition costs for the program, reimbursement of Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State up to $120, and additional start up fees up to $200. Funding comes in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, the University of Connecticut, and CARES Act funding. “This program will give folks the tools and approach needed to help launch their business,” Ercolano said.

The Minority Business Growth Program is a more intensive, eight session virtual class geared towards existing minority-owned businesses. The program will provide technical knowledge, facilitate discussion with other business owners, and touch on several key topics, such as marketing, operations, and financing for growth. “This program is focused on growth. Established minority owned businesses will learn how to build capacity while finding new business, new clients, and new opportunities, all while understanding finances better,” Ercolano said. This program runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., beginning May 24 and running until June 15. The program has a $1,500 value and is free to register.

If you are interested in learning more about the Minority Startup Program, visit To register for the Minority Business Growth Program, visit:

Our Waterbury Regional Chamber is proud to partner with the SBDC to offer these programs. There is no better time to start your own business or accelerate an existing one. Feel free to reach out to the Chamber at 203-757-0701 if you have any questions or need registration guidance.  

This column originally ran in the Republican-American on Monday, May 9, 2022.
Welcome New Members:
A warm welcome to our newest members!* We encourage you to connect with them soon and see where your next partnership can be!

*Joined 4/13/22 to 5/11/22
Upcoming Ribbon Cuttings
  • Tuesday, May 24 @ 3 p.m. - AMA Wellness Day Spa - 372 Wolcott Road, Wolcott, CT
  • Wednesday, June 8 @ 3 p.m. - Royal Pharmacy & Royal Elite HomeCare - 1420 Meriden Road, Waterbury, CT

Please join us and your fellow members for any of these upcoming events!
Free Subscriptions to the Hartford Business Journal and New Haven Biz
As part of your Waterbury Regional Chamber Membership, you can receive free subscriptions to the Hartford Business Journal and New Haven Biz publications. Click the links below to sign up today!
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
Free Business Development Programs from SBDC Connecticut
May 21: Leadership Greater Waterbury Health & Wellness Drive
The LGW Class of 2021-2022 Health and Wellness Group are focused on promoting the benefits and achievability of holistic health while providing educational support materials to underprivileged youths throughout the Greater Waterbury region. This group will be hosting an in-person event on May 21st to collect items such as non-perishable healthy foods, simple exercise equipment, and emotional support tools (please refer to the flyer for specifics). ‘Health and Wellness Starter Packs’ will be distributed to our generous donors. All items collected will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury, the Police Activity League of Waterbury, and Girls Inc. of Western Connecticut who represent and support the target age group. Please join us and donate!
Hiring & Training Programs Available
Do you need help finding qualified workers for your business? Could you use some financial assistance to offset the cost of hiring and training new workers, or training your existing workforce?

The Waterbury Regional Chamber is working with the Northwest Regional Workforce Investments Board to help businesses in Greater Waterbury learn more about the available hiring and training programs and whether they qualify for them. This includes providing information on posting jobs on the states website, as well as information about Manufacturing Innovation Fund Incumbent Worker Training, the apprenticeship program, hiring veterans and on-the-job training programs.

For more information, visit
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