Interns Beware: Discrimination Laws Do Not Apply to You, Yet

A federal court in New York has ruled that an unpaid TV intern had no legal basis for filing a sexual harassment claim, even though she was allegedly groped by her boss. The court said that because the young woman was an unpaid intern, she did not qualify as an “employee” and therefore did not have the legal protections against sexual harassment that employees have.

New York and New Jersey politicians are quickly moving to address this hole in the law. This would be, in my opinion, a very uncontroversial addition to discrimination law. Anyone on the job, whether paid or unpaid, boss or intern, independent contractor or employee, should be able to work without getting groped, harassed, bullied, or mistreated because of who they are. We will keep you posted on developments in this area.