Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Federal court says unpaid intern cannot sue for discrimination

In a case of apparent first impression, a federal court in New York ruled last week that an unpaid intern could not sue for workplace sexual harassment because she did not qualify as an employee under the state's employment discrimination law.  The court reasoned that because the intern did not recent compensation, a fundamental aspect of the employee-employer relationship was missing. The ruling leaves open the question of what protection an unpaid intern has against workplace discrimination if not under employment discrimination laws. If other courts adopt the same reasoning, particularly in a case under Title VII, the federal employment discrimination law under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ruling will have a far reaching effect.

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