The New York City Council is considering new rules that would give interns the same rights to sue for sexual harassment as other employees.
At a hearing of the Committee on Civil Rights on Monday, Councilman James Vacca said that he had proposed the measure after a judge ruled last year that an intern who said she was kissed and groped by a television station bureau chief could not sue because she was not a paid employee.
“The hole in this law is so big you could drive a Mack truck trough it,” Vacca told the council on Monday. “Like most people who read about this case, I was dumbfounded by the decision because I know that interns can be vulnerable, if not more vulnerable to harassment than any other employee.”
The measure proposed by Vacca would expand New York City’s existing Human Rights Law to prohibit discrimination against interns on the basis of their age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, citizenship status or status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses or stalking.
The councilman noted that New York City would be one of the first local governments in the country to protect interns from sexual harassment with this type of law.
Watch the video below from The New York City Council, broadcast March 17, 2014.
[“Caucasian Mid-Adult Man Sexually Harassing Woman Sitting At Computer” on Shutterstock]