On December 5, 2013, New Jersey State Senator Nia H. Gill introduced a bill to extend protection against workplace discrimination and retaliation to unpaid interns. This bill fills a gap in the law which left unpaid interns without any rights if they were discriminated against at work. New York legislators introduced a similar bill there last October, after a case involving an intern was dismissed. In that case, the intern alleged that her boss had groped her. The court had thrown out that case, saying that the intern was not an “employee” and thus could not maintain her lawsuit.
We are crossing our fingers that our legislators can pass this simple, commonsense fix and that our Governor will sign it into law.