Sexually Harassed? Too Bad if You're an Intern in CA - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Marla Tellez

Sexually Harassed? Too Bad if You're an Intern in CA

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Is it just me or are you, too, shocked to know interns who are sexually harassed have no legal recourse in most states, including California?! (Though that could change thanks to a new bill making its way through the California state legislature right now). 

In our "Big Deal-No Big Deal" segment on Good Day LA this morning we talked about New York's new law that protects interns against sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, religion and sexual orientation in the workplace and we determined this is a HUGE DEAL. The New York city council passed the bill Wednesday in response to a federal judge's decision last year to dismiss an unpaid intern's sexual harassment claim against her boss.  The Big Apple joins Oregon and Washington D.C. on the list of places with such legislation.

So, what about our Golden State?  In January, California Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner introduced AB1443, titled "Harassment: Unpaid Interns." It's currently in committee, but if it passes, and let's hope it does, it will protect unpaid interns in the case of a sexual harassment situation.  As it stands now, interns aren't protected because, under federal law, an unpaid worker, like most interns, is not considered an employee, hence they don't have any legal ground to stand on.

I, like many of you I'm sure, was once an intern.  It's not easy. It can be extremely intimidating, in fact. The last thing an intern needs to endure is sexual harassment.  It's time California lawmakers tie a knot in this illogical loophole.   

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