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New Bill Proposes Workplace Protections for Interns

Posted on in Employment

For decades now, interns have been some of the most abused employees, with violations against their rights becoming more and more blatant every year. A new bill aims to stop that. The bill has been introduced in New York by Democratic state lawmakers, who have proposed a law that would provide unpaid interns the same kind of workplace protections that are currently available to employees.

The bill would make it unlawful for employers to discriminate against an unpaid intern based on, age, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, sex, domestic violence victim status, marital status or predisposing genetic characteristics. The bill also includes whistleblower protections for unpaid interns, and will also protect them from incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace.

California employment lawyers have been familiar with incidences of workplace discrimination involving interns for years now. However, it is only recently that there seems to have a sustained movement to help draw more attention to the fact that unpaid interns are often made to work like bonded laborers with little free time, poor working conditions, and no rest.

However, many states around the country, including California have been very slow to act to help protect the rights of unpaid interns. Every year, thousands of interns show up at offices around California, looking for work experience that will help them gain a foothold in the job market. Far too often, they are overworked, and denied their rights to a safe and healthy work environment.

Earlier this year, their plight received even more nationwide attention when 2 interns who worked on production for the Oscar-winning Black Swan movie, filed a wages lawsuit, and actually won back pay.

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