Unpaid Need Not Mean Unprotected

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New Jersey State Senator Nia H. Gill recently introduced legislation that “[p]rovides legal protections and remedies for persons engaged in unpaid internships with employers.”  If passed, S-3064 would extend employee-like protection to unpaid interns under several existing New Jersey laws, including the Law Against Discrimination, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, and the Worker Freedom From Employer Intimidation Act. Under the new bill, New Jersey would be only the second state in the country (after Oregon) to offer such protection. Gill stated that she was prompted to act after she learned that a New York Federal judge dismissed an intern’s sexual harassment lawsuit on the basis that the intern was not being paid for her services during the alleged harassment; which dismissal the Blog reported on October 10th, here.

If passed by both the House and the Senate, employers should expect the new bill to go into effect sometime in early 2014.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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