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April 22nd, 2014
NYC Law Now Protects Interns Against Workplace Discrimination
Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill amending the New York City Human Rights Law (the "NYCHRL") to provide that interns are now protected from workplace discrimination and harassment. This amendment will make New York City one of the few cities in the country to extend the same workplace protections against discrimination and harassment to interns - both paid and unpaid - as is provided to employees.
Previously, only "employees" - a category that does not include interns or independent contractors - could use the NYCHRL to bring claims for discrimination or harassment at work. The amendment defines the term "intern" as follows:
- an individual who performs work for an employer on a temporary basis whose work: (a) provides training or supplements training given in an educational environment such that the employability of the individual performing the work may be enhanced; (b) provides experience for the benefit of the individual performing the work; and (c) is performed under the close supervision of existing staff. The term shall include such individuals without regard to whether the employer pays them a salary or wage.
The amendment further provides that the provisions of the NYCHRL "relating to employees shall apply to interns." Accordingly, interns are now protected against discrimination on the basis of their protected characteristics, such as their age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship status or status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offense or stalking.
The amendment will go into effect as of June 15, 2015. Employers should take note and be sure to update their employee handbooks/anti-discrimination policies accordingly.
You should be aware that the classification as an intern rather than as an employee is a very hot topic of law and employers should carefully consider if their interns are being properly classified. We hosted an event and sent an Employment Alert on this topic. If you have any questions you should contact Wendy Stryker at (212) 705 4838 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Gavin McElroy at (212) 826 5541 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Executive Compensation and Employment Group.
Other Employment Law Alerts
Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Begins for Certain New York City Employers
April 1, 2019 is an important date for many New York City employers. On that date New York City employers with 15 or more employees (including contractors) who have worked more than 80 hours and at least 90 days in a calendar year, must begin providing mandatory sexual harassment training. Read more.
March 14 2019
California Employment Law Changes You Need to Know
A raft of legislative changes affect hiring practices, employment agreements, employee classification, training, and more. Here’s a handy summary. Read more.
January 28 2019
Are You Ready for New York’s New Anti-Harassment Rules?
Many New York employers are days away from a number of important compliance deadlines relating to the recently enacted New York State anti-sexual harassment laws (a link to our prior alert on these laws is here). We have provided a summary of what covered employers need to do. Read more.
October 1 2018