On December 5, 2013, the New Jersey State Senate introduced S-3064 to protect unpaid interns from employment discrimination by amending the Law Against Discrimination, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act and the Worker Freedom from Employer Intimidation Act. New Jersey’s employment discrimination laws are already among the most expansive in the country, so if this new bill become law, unpaid interns would enjoy many of the same rights and remedies currently afforded to employees. Similar protections for interns have been proposed or passed elsewhere. Oregon is the first (and only) state to have enacted such legislation. Further, the New York State Senate has introduced similar legislation, while a California assemblywoman recently announced plans to do the same. This alert discusses this emerging trend with a particular focus on New Jersey’s proposed law.


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