UPDATE: Your signature made a difference! NYC will now protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment and discrimination.
Last fall, an NYC judge ruling threw out an unpaid intern’s sexuall harassment claim simply because “protection of employees does not extend to unpaid interns.”
Over 10,300 of you were disgusted by this and signed a petition to get it changed. Now that’s happening: a bill passed by the New York City Council and Salon reported, “Interns of New York City, rejoice. You are now protected against sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, religion and sexual orientation in the workplace.”
We're proud of the thousands of members who took action to protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment in the workplace. So many young people rely on unpaid internships for graduation requirements and to help them prepare for their careers. Everyone should be able to feel safe and respected when they go to work.
Apparently, it’s totally fine to forcefully grope people...if they’re unpaid interns.
Imagine you are an unpaid intern. Your boss makes unwanted sexual advances, squeezes you tightly, tries to kiss you, and even grabs your butt. You feel like your position - and the possibility of a paid gig - might be tied to these advances. You're trapped. So you file a sexual harassment claim. Then the company fires you.
This actually happened. (And, we suspect, it happens quite often.)
In a recent court case, the judge threw out the intern’s claim, noting that “protection of employees does not extend to unpaid interns.”
Why this is wrong:
Over 51% of interns are unpaid. They’re often exploited because they’re young, vulnerable and, oh yeah, UNPAID. As the law stands, there’s nothing protecting them against sexual predators in the workplace.
(For the record, DoSomething totally loves, respects, and pays(!) our amazing interns.)
The bottom line: creeps shouldn’t get off on technicalities.
What YOU can do about it:
Sign this petition. It tells the New York City Council to - duh - protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment.
Make an IMMEDIATE impact with this NYC law. We’ll deliver your signatures to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn before her term closes at the end of the year. With your support, we can inspire change across the country.
UPDATE: You've helped us reach nearly 10,000 signatures! We've received support from members of the New York City Council and will deliver your signatures at a key moment in the push for policy change. In the meantime, keep signing and sharing!